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Rounds, Durbin Introduce Legislation to Protect Rural Postal Processing Facilities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) today introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to consider consequences for rural areas during their closure or downsizing review process in order to protect rural mail processing facilities.

USPS’s reviews of processing facilities closures does not require them to consider the impact on rural areas or highly rural areas as long as the closure gains efficiencies. However, USPS’s reviews of post office retail locations does require them to answer whether closing the location is consistent with their obligation to provide effective and regular postal services to rural areas. This legislation would require USPS to consider the impact to rural areas when closing or downsizing processing centers, just as they do with closing post office retail locations. 

“Rural mail services are a lifeline for residents of many communities across South Dakota,” said Rounds. “The U.S. Postal Service should be required to consider the impact of closing processing facilities on rural residents, just as they consider it when closing retail locations. I’m pleased to be introducing this legislation to make certain rural residents receive their mail in a timely and efficient manner.”

“If I drop a piece of mail off in Springfield to make it across town, why should it have to go all the way to St. Louis and back? Eliminating mail processing centers across our state, without consideration for the impact on mail service and postal employees, will only decimate USPS. It is yet another instance of Postmaster General DeJoy’s ‘Delivering for America’ plan disastrously missing the mark,” said Durbin. “I’m joining Senator Rounds in introducing legislation requiring USPS to study the effects of closing or consolidating mail processing and shipping facilities to ensure that our postal service serves Illinoisans to the best of its abilities.”

This legislation is cosponsored by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).


  • As part of its Delivering for America plan, USPS is reviewing every processing and distribution center in the nation with the goal of creating efficiencies by reducing services at some centers and eliminating others.
  • There are three USPS processing facilities in South Dakota: Huron, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
  • In February 2024, USPS finalized a plan to move all non-local processing at the Huron facility to Fargo, North Dakota.
  • In April 2024, USPS finalized a plan to move all non-local processing at the Sioux Falls facility to Omaha, Nebraska.
  • In April 2024, Rounds led a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging the postal service to avoid downsizing or significantly reorganizing mail processing operations in South Dakota.
  • In May 2024, Rounds sends follow up letter to Postmaster DeJoy highlighting continued concerns with USPS’ plans to downsize mail processing centers nationwide.
  • In May 2024, following bipartisan pressure from Senators, USPS announced it is pausing the downsizing of mail processing facilities in South Dakota.

Click HERE for full bill text.