Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley introduced a bill in the Senate Thursday that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from closing some rural post offices.
This summer the US Postal Service announced that it would look at closing 3700 post offices as a way to cut costs. Many of those are in rural areas. On a conference call with reporters, Merkley said his bill would prohibit the Postal Service from shutting down a post office if closing it would mean a distance greater than 10 miles to the next one.
Merkley says 36 of the 41 post offices under review in Oregon would create that situation if they were to close.
"Anyone who has traveled though a small town realizes that the post office is the hub of community life and it's an essential communications link. And we need to make sure everyone has access to the post office," Merkley said.
The Protecting Rural Post Offices Act, as it's being called, has support from both Democrats and Republicans. Peter Hass, a spokesman for the US Postal Service, declined to comment. He says the agency has not had time to review the contents of the legislation.
Read more on news.opb.org.