A bill passed by the Senate on?Wednesday would make it more difficult for the U.S.?Postal Service to close offices and cut Saturday delivery.
The bill would give the Postal Service as much as $11 billion to help it avoid bankruptcy, while forcing the struggling agency to delay closing rural post offices and mail processing centers for at least a year.
Critics, including Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argue that the bill is nothing more than a short-term answer and "kicks the can down the road."
They are right on that part, but perhaps a delay will give the Postal Service ample time to reconsider its plan to close some of the mail processing centers. The agency's plan would close 252 centers around the country, including ones in Minot and Devils Lake. The bill passed by the Senate would cut the closure list to 125 centers for at least three years, and would bar the Postal Service from closing post offices for one year if they are located in rural areas with fewer than 50,000 people.
Such a mandated delay would allow cities like Minot to make a case for retaining its processing center. As we've said before, closing the mail processing center in Minot makes absolutely no sense, given the area's booming population and economy. Maintaining overnight first-class mail delivery should be a priority in this area, where more businesses and residents are arriving every year.
We have no problem with kicking the can down the road in this case. In fact, we encourage Congress to kick that can as hard as it can.