NH Congressional delegation raises concerns over proposed changes to Manchester USPS center

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Paul Bonneville of Tilton supports the USPS. Credit/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), held a press conference outside the Manchester Processing and Distribution Center on Monday to voice concerns about proposed changes to the postal center by the U.S Postal Service (USPS).

Last week, the delegation sent a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy questioning plans for the facility that could be damaging to mail service in New Hampshire and urging the USPS to reconsider its plans.

“Granite Staters—particularly in rural communities and the elderly —depend on the USPS for prompt and reliable mail and package deliveries,” said Senator Shaheen. “The changes being proposed by USPS to the Manchester Processing and Distribution Center could significantly harm how New Hampshire’s mail is processed by the Postal Service. Today we urged the Postal Service not to do this and I encourage all Granite Staters who are concerned about this potential change to weigh in with the Postal Service.”

“The Manchester Processing and Distribution Center helps ensure that Granite Staters get their mail on time, and there could be significant consequences if it is closed and moved to Boston,” said Senator Hassan. “I am thankful for the opportunity to stand with Granite State postal workers today, because the work that they do for New Hampshire remains as indispensable as ever. Granite Staters deserve timely mail just like any other state, and we cannot risk creating delays in service.”

“New Hampshire families all across our state rely on the Postal Service to deliver everything from their paychecks to their medications – any drastic delays to their service could be devastating and are unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Today, I was proud to join with New Hampshire residents and postal workers to demand better from Postmaster DeJoy and formally stand against the backward proposal that would make it harder for Granite Staters to receive their mail.”

“Granite State families, businesses, and communities rely on the U.S. Postal Service to get their mail, prescriptions, and packages on time. It’s misguided for USPS to consider diverting services from the Manchester processing center which would only exacerbate issues as the USPS works to decrease, and ultimately stop, delayed deliveries,” said Congressman Pappas. “I stand with concerned Granite Staters today to raise alarm about this issue. We must advance solutions that improve delivery times and support workers at USPS – not worsen existing problems.”

Shaheen and Hassan have been stalwart supporters of efforts to improve and reform the USPS, ensuring that Granite Staters receive their mail in a timely manner, no matter what part of the state they live in. Hassan helped introduce – and Shaheen strongly supported – a bill that was signed into law to address longstanding financial and structural issues at the USPS. Shaheen and Hassan have repeatedly called for Congress to provide financial relief to USPS during the COVID-19 pandemic, including urging Postmaster General DeJoy to restore on-time delivery and stop harmful changes that were delaying delivery of Prescription Medication to Granite Staters.

Shaheen has also called on Postmaster DeJoy to increase security and verification tools to help Granite Staters combat fraudulent change of address requests. Ahead of the 2020 election, Shaheen filed an amicus brief with a group of Senators in support of legal challenges to operational changes implemented by USPS that have resulted in unreliable service and widespread delays. The New Hampshire delegation also successfully confirmed that ballots received locally would be delivered directly to the local clerk’s office after raising concerns about timely delivery. Prior to this announcement, the Postal Service had required that ballots returned by voters in New Hampshire be routed to processing facilities in Manchester, NH or White River Junction, VT, which would have unnecessarily delayed the delivery of ballots.

Following a request from Senator Hassan, the Postal Service Inspector General issued a report that found that the main cause of postal delays and poor service in New Hampshire was due to a lack of permanent staff. In the months following the report, in 2021 the Postal Service hired more than 150 new permanent employees in New Hampshire.


 

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