Maui News

Akaka Urges Legislation to Prevent a Postal Shutdown

September 6, 2011, 11:03 AM HST
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By Wendy Osher

Hawaii mail. File photo by Wendy Osher.

A hearing was held today on plans to prevent a shutdown of the US Postal Service.

The hearing comes on the heels of an announcement in July that the USPS was considering consolidation plans, and had identified a number of locations for possible closure including Kalaupapa on Molokai. Also on the list were two locations on O’ahu and one on Kaua’i.

US Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawai’i issued a statement saying he remains committed to ensuring the USPS has a viable future.

His comments were made today before a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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Akaka said he continues work with his colleagues to craft legislation to achieve goals of continuing universal service, maintaining a strong workforce, and creating financial stability.

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In 2006, Congress constructed bipartisan legislation that modernized the Postal Service in order to ensure its viability; but now, five years later, the economic situation has erased previous Postal Service surpluses.

Akaka said he has grave concerns over how some proposals should be implemented, including one that proposes layoffs, and another that seeks the elimination of post offices in areas where they are needed.

“A failure on our part to enact meaningful legislation could have negative consequences for the Postal Service,” said Akaka, “and may be devastating for the wider postal industry, which employs millions across the country, and for our nation’s economic recovery.”

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