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Higgins supports legislation that would keep Buffalo mail processing facility open

by jmaloni

Press release

Thu, Jul 18th 2013 05:30 pm

Bipartisan bill would maintain next-day delivery standard

Congressman Brian Higgins is cosponsoring H.R. 2459, the Protect Overnight Delivery Act, introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. The bipartisan legislation, which has 72 cosponsors, would protect overnight postal delivery by preventing the Postal Service from weakening delivery standards.

"The Postal Service is looking to grow their business, yet they continue to cut services that decrease competitiveness and leave customers looking elsewhere," Higgins said. "This bill would maintain the quick turnaround of mail that businesses and consumers rely on and guarantee the Buffalo facility at William Street will remain open."

The United States Postal Service has plans to transfer employees out of Buffalo to Rochester as early as 2015. The relaxing of next-day delivery would be required for operations to be moved from the William Street mail processing facility to Rochester.

Higgins discussed the legislation on the House Floor:

"Mr. Speaker, The United States Postal Service continues to try and fix themselves financially with service cuts that will undermine the agency, not strengthen it.

"I am pleased to be a cosponsor of my colleague, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's legislation, the Protect Overnight Delivery Act, to prevent the postal service from weakening service standards.

"Eliminating overnight delivery would threaten hundreds of postal facilities across the nation, including the William Street facility in my Western New York community.

"Mr. Speaker, while the Postal Service is certainly in need of reforms, this is the wrong way to do it. Once again, the Postal Service is making ill-conceived decisions that hurt both workers and consumers."

Higgins has been critical of USPS business decisions to remove neighborhood post offices, close the Buffalo processing center, and reduce access to services. He recently became aware of new plans to slash hours at the USPS Buffalo Airport retail facility, and is concerned it will diminish services to local businesses and residents, as well as decrease the USPS's ability to remain competitive. Working in conjunction with Buffalo's Old First Ward Community Center, the congressman was recently successful in preventing the removal of a mailbox frequented by seniors living in the area and visiting the center.

DeLauro said moving from overnight to two- or three-day delivery standards will not only slow mail delivery, it will result in 508 closed processing facilities and an estimated 30,000 jobs lost.

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