Sen. Thurmond Asks GAO to Investigate USPS

Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) is requesting that the General Accounting Office investigate the practices of the U.S. Postal Service.

In a letter to USPS Postmaster General William J. Henderson, Thurmond, along with Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC), and Rep. Floyd D. Spence (R-SC), said that the decision to put a hold on the construction of all new postal facilities throughout the US was ill-advised, and as a result, “we plan to ask the General Accounting Office to investigate this as well as other postal service packages.”

Earlier this month, the USPS announced an immediate freeze on capital commitments that will affect more than 800 facility projects and significant new reductions in work years and administrative staffing. Of the 800 plants, 13 were to be built in South Carolina.

The USPS is facing a potential loss of $2 billion to $3 billion this fiscal year, reflecting the organization's costs, which are rising at a rate exceeding mail volume and revenue growth.

The letter said that the decision to freeze these facilities ” has the appearance of an attempt by the postal service to gain leverage over the U.S. Congress. The semblance of such a strategy may create ill will with Senators and Members of Congress and could serve counter to the objective of the postal service.”

The letter also said that if “it is the position of the of the postal service that legislative change is required in order to do its job better and to compete in the marketplace, then the postal service should pursue its agenda without punishing the citizens of our Nation…we encourage you to review this decision and continue with the construction of the facilities so that the needs of the American people are fulfilled.”

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