(Washington D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) commended the United State Postal Service's (USPS) decision to forgo consolidating Yakima, WA mail processing operations with operations at the Pasco, WA postal facility. The decision by the USPS comes after Senator Murray introduced legislation that would mandate a General Accounting Office (GAO) review of any changes to the Yakima facility.

"This is great news for the City of Yakima and the postal employees who serve the Yakima community," said Senator Murray "I am glad that I was able to work with Yakima to show the Postal Service the error of their ways. Consolidation would have cost jobs and would have stripped the City of Yakima of its postmark. Together we have ensured that the Yakima Post Office will continue to fully serve the people of the region."

In late 2005, the USPS announced that they would be undergoing major realignment projects in an effort to streamline postal facilities nationwide. As part of that process, Yakima was chosen as a potential candidate for consolidation. Local businesses, community leaders and postal employees expressed serious concerns to Senator Murray's office about the potential for loss of local jobs and the loss of their community's postmark.

Senator Murray responded to their concerns, and her own, by introducing legislation which placed pressure on the USPS to give up their consolidation plans for the Yakima postal facility. In July, 2006, Senator Murray placed language in the Fiscal Year 2007 Transportation Appropriations Bill that would require USPS to undergo a study of their consolidation plans by the GAO. This would force the USPS to face the strict scrutiny of an independent review. Senator Murray initiated this effort to impede the Yakima consolidation and provide more transparency to other communities who will undergo a similar process.

"I hope that the Postal Service learns from this experience," said Senator Murray. "When it comes to making decisions that will affect jobs and alter communities, they need to be more honest with community leaders and lawmakers."

The USPS is under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Murray is the second-ranking member of the majority on that subcommittee.