Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Businesses, many with rural trade, spend millions urging Congress to help Postal Service

Businesses that cater to rural areas are among those that have spent $300 million in the past three years lobbying Congress to support or oppose various proposals concerning the U.S. Postal Service, in ways generally friendly to USPS as well as their own interests. Congress begins work on legislation this week to help the struggling, debt-riddled agency. "The service is the backbone of a mailing and shipping industry that employs more than 8.5 million people and supports almost $1 trillion in economic activity every year," Ron Nixon of The New York Times reports. "The service itself employs 574,000 people."

The agency has proposed ending Saturday delivery and delaying first-class mail by a day, along with closing 3,700 post offices -- mostly in rural areas -- and 250 processing centers. Many companies say the cuts would "have a devastating effect on their businesses," especially greeting-card makers, mail-order prescription companies and magazine and newspaper publishers, who rely on the postal service for everyday business, especially in rural places. (Read more)

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