Washington, D.C. - Congressman Steve King released the following statement today after holding an in person meeting with Patrick Donahoe, the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, in King's Washington, D.C. office yesterday. The Postmaster General requested the meeting with King to discuss the Postal Service's plans to move Sioux City's mail processing operations to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During the meeting, Donahoe admitted that the Postal Service had done a "lousy job on public relations" in Sioux City, and he told King that the quickly deteriorating financial position of the Postal Service leaves him no choice but to close Sioux City's mail processing center.
"The first point of agreement I found in my meeting with the Postmaster General was when he admitted that the Postal Service had done a 'lousy job on public relations' in Sioux City," said King. "For months I have been working with Senators Grassley and Harkin to get the Postal Service to release the business model report to the community detailing the rationale for eliminating the USPS processing center. The Postmaster General's promise to us was not kept. Time and time again we were met with stall tactics and delays. Lousy public relations aside, the Postal Service is facing epic financial challenges which require sweeping and dramatic changes. Even though Sioux City's processing center is one of the most efficient in the country, and the community is prepared to produce a proposal that would have a chance to keep the doors open and its employees working, at this point, I hold out no hope that the Sioux City processing center will remain open."
In early August, King and Senators Grassley and Harkin met with Donahoe and were promised that Sioux City's leaders would have an opportunity to review the Postal Service's rationale for the planned move and would have an opportunity to offer a counter proposal. Nearly a month later, after weeks of constant prodding from the delegation, postal service officials traveled to Sioux City and discussed the details of the proposal with city and community leaders in a closed door meeting. Following that meeting, King, Grassley, and Harkin wrote to Donahoe to ask that the final implementation of the consolidation be delayed to give the city additional time to submit a competitive counter proposal.
Yesterday, Donahoe told King that while the Postal Service had "done a lousy job on public relations" the business position of the Postal Service has declined so severely and so rapidly in the months since the Sioux City consolidation was first proposed that the city "could offer 100 proposals and we won't be able to stay there." "I am broke. I have no money," Donahoe told King. The Postal Service's dire financial situation will not only force the closure of the Sioux City processing center by the end of the month, Donahoe said it has also led the Postal Service to begin an effort to reduce its mail processing operations nationwide over the next year from the more than 500 centers that it currently operates to 175. According to the Postmaster General, this severe downsizing of its processing network will be part of a move by the Postal Service to slash $20 Billion from its bottom line over the next three years in an effort to return the organization to solvency.