Bergman bill aims to stop USPS plans in Kingsford

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet

KINGSFORD — Legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman would halt the U.S. Postal Service’s consolidation plans for processing and distribution centers, including a move that would send Upper Peninsula mail now handled in Kingsford to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“Bureaucrats in the U.S. Postal Service seem to have this misperception that they understand the delivery needs of the Upper Peninsula’s rural communities more than the people actually living there,” Bergman, R-Watersmeet, said in a news release.

The Protect Postal Performance Act introduced this week by Bergman and Rep. Nikki Budzinski, D-Ill., would bar USPS from downsizing processing facilities in regions that are failing to meet delivery targets of 90.3% on-time delivery for three-to-five-day first-class mail and 93% on-time delivery for two-day first-class mail.

Northern Michigan and the U.P. currently experience a 75.2% on-time delivery rate for three-to-five-day mail and a 91.2% on-time delivery rate for two-day mail, Bergman said Thursday in a news release.

“My constituents rely on the postal service for the timely delivery of bills, payments, prescriptions and other necessities, and they deserve a functional mail service, absent of manufactured delays caused by bureaucratic ineptitude,” Bergman said.

He thanked Budzinski for co-leading legislation aimed at halting USPS’s “ill-conceived consolidation plans in areas where the agency is already underperforming.”

Bergman has sent numerous letters to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy raising concerns about USPS’s plans to downsize the mail processing facility in Kingsford. The plans could mean worse delivery rates and the relocation of several jobs, he said.

“Postmaster DeJoy has no business reducing mail processing capacity in areas that are already short staffed and struggling to receive mail on time,” Budzinski said in the news release. “Today, I introduced bipartisan legislation that will halt these plans in Champaign and Springfield, (Illin ois), and in underserviced areas across the country. I’m grateful to Congressman Jack Bergman for joining me in this important effort to protect local USPS jobs and push back on a misguided effort that could further impact poor postal delivery rates in our communities.”

At a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Tuesday, DeJoy was pressed by senators on “mounting concerns about the postal service and timely mail delivery” as USPS moves forward on its Delivering for America plan.

The $40 billion plan is designed to “upgrade and enhance” mail processing, distribution and transportation, according to USPS officials.

U.S. Sen Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Hills., the committee chair, asked that DeJoy provide by May 1 a list of locations where USPS plans to make changes.

He also asked for timelines for making those changes, full service data on every site done so far and documentation on cost savings.

DeJoy said he would check with his office on whether that information could be compiled by that date.

Peters also called on DeJoy and USPS to pause moving forward with the plan until it has data available that shows changes already implemented are having the intended effect.


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