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COLUMBIA - Postal workers rallied Tuesday in front of Representative Luetkemeyer's office regarding several proposed changes to the United States Postal Service. 

Two initiatives were at the forefront of the rally— one that postal workers are in support of, and another they strongly oppose. 

HR 1351, which postal workers rallied in favor of, would pull back nearly 20 billion dollars in funding that has been put away into pension and health insurance funds for postal workers. 

Those in favor of this bill feel it would solve many of the financial problems faced by the U.S. Postal Service and potentially save jobs. 

On the other hand, HR 2309 would attempt to streamline the postal service, closing underused branches, and mandating that eligible retirees should do so. 

"We have more post offices than McDonalds, Starbucks, FedEx and UPS's combined," said Ali Ahmad,  Communications Adviser for the Oversight and Government Committee. 

This committee advocates adoption of HR 2306 in order to adapt to changing technologies and cut costs. 

Both bills are under the jurisdiction of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).  

Across the nation, postal workers and community members gathered together on this day, deemed 'National Rally Day'. 

Participants in Mid-Missouri said Representative Luetkemeyer, who will vote on these bills, has been pragmatic but understanding in his response. 

In a statement released today, Luetkemeyer said, "While the postal service must adapt to the challenges of the future, these financial difficulties should not be used as a pretense to transform the USPS into an organization that provides a higher level of service for urban America than it does for rural America." 

According to Jim Marsden, American Postal Workers Union Steward, HR 1351 is stuck in Issa's committee, needing more sponsors to move forward. 

Today's for the rallying postal workers was to gain more sponsorship for this bill, and diminish support for HR 2309. 

"If they could get 1351 passed through Congress, it'd fix the funding problem, it would not be an issue that we would have to come to again next year, where we just kick the can down the road and do this all over again. We'd like to see something, you know a long-term fix, and I think that's what we'd end up with," said Kevin Boyer, President of the Missouri State National Association of Letter Carriers. 

 

 

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