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The fate of thousands of United States Postal Service workers is still unclear as lawmakers in Washington debate how to rescue the agency from its dire financial straits.

In mid-August, a bipartisan group of 50 senators called for a one-year hold on the USPS’s plans to shut down mail processing plants, which would cut thousands of positions.

However, a spokesman Dave Partenheimer said that while congressional reform would help the agency, he stressed the Postal Service should be allowed to continue to work on making its operations more efficient.

“We are disappointed by the recent effort to block our ongoing initiative to remove excess capacity from our mail processing network,” Partenheimer said. “It would be unfortunate if this action were to impede our current progress. A comprehensive legislative package is the most appropriate way to address our systemic business model and financial issues.”

Others do not believe postponing the closures is the best course of action either.

Tom Carper (D-Delaware), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma,) ranking member, sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier in September cautioning against the moratorium and instead urging support for the Postal Reform Act of 2014.

“Instead of actually fixing the problem and providing a roadmap to a strong and vital Postal Service in the 21st Century, that approach will further undermine customer confidence and ensure that the Postal Service continues to twist in the wind, facing an uncertain future that could ultimately hasten its demise,” the letter said.

A section by section summary of the Postal Reform Act of 2014 can be found here.

The group of 50 senators sent a letter on Aug. 14 to Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Maryland) and ranking member Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Alabama) focused on the loss of jobs and the impact to middle-class workers. The USPS estimates the moratorium would save the agency $750 million in the coming fiscal year.

The agency’s proposed plan would close up to 82 mail processing plans, slow down mail delivery and eliminate up to 15,000 jobs, according to their figures.

“At a time when our middle-class is disappearing, the loss of 15,000 good-paying Postal Service jobs will harm our local communities and economies,” the group of senators wrote. ““This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future.”

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