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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

MacArthur Demands Post Office Reverse Unexpected Rate Hikes on Military Care Packages and Calls for Congressional Investigation

February 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom MacArthur demanded the Postmaster General reverse unexpected postal rates hikes that have negatively affected nonprofit organizations that send care packages to our service-members deployed abroad. In addition to this letter, he urged the House Oversight Committee to investigate these changes and the impact it will have on nonprofits. 

These rate changes are the result of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) consolidation of postal centers that process APO/FPO military mail. Previously, five of these centers located throughout the country processed packages to be sent to military installations abroad. However, these centers have now been consolidated into a single facility located in Chicago, Illinois. As a result, nonprofits and others wishing to send care packages to service-members must now pay the domestic postage rate from their location to Chicago, instead of the much more conveniently located centers they previously used.

“Some nonprofits, such as Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey, will see a drastic increase in postage costs that will severely limit the number of packages they can afford to ship,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur. “These care packages provide much need basic comforts and a morale boost to our service-members. I see letters all the time from our men and women in the Armed Services expressing how encouraging it is for them to know that the civilian population here at home is keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. We owe it to these organizations and our troops to reverse this unexpected decision and investigate why these changes were made without alerting nonprofits.” 

Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey and Troop Mailing Fund echoed Congressman MacArthur’s call for action, along with New Jersey’s 8th District Legislators, Senator Dawn Addiego, Assemblyman Joe Howarth and Assemblyman Ryan Peters.

 “At Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey we work tirelessly to support our United States Military Forces serving in the Middle East including Iraq, Afghanistan and those supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve,” said Dave Silver, Marlton resident and President of Operation Yellow South Jersey. “We do this by putting together welcome home events for local veterans in South Jersey to bring our local Heroes home in ‘rock star fashion’ and by organizing and collecting supplies to send to members of our Armed Forces in harm’s way. Our efforts to send supplies overseas is going to be severely hindered by this sudden and inexcusable rate increase. I join Congressman MacArthur’s call for the USPS to reverse course on this decision, so we can continue to support our military.”

“Congressman MacArthur has long been a supporter of our efforts to provide much-needed supplies to our troops overseas,” said Lloyd Mullikin, Bayville resident and Head of Troop Mailing Fund. “We send them items that make their lives more manageable and comfortable in difficult situations. This unexpected rate hike by the USPS is going to impact our efforts severely and I am grateful that Congressman MacArthur has our back on this.”

"We have worked with Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey for quite some time, witnessing firsthand the incredible work they do on a daily basis to support members of our Armed Forces overseas,” said New Jersey’s 8th District Legislators, Senator Dawn Addiego, Assemblyman Joe Howarth, and Assemblyman Ryan Peters, in a joint statement. “In fact, our offices have served as drop off locations for years. It was beyond troubling to hear that the United States Postal Service had such a sharp increase in rates without any warning and we are joining in Congressman MacArthur's call for them to reverse course. Operation Yellow Ribbon, and organizations like them, do too much to support our military to have this hinder their efforts. Hopefully the United States Postal Service will heed our call and make this right. Our military deserves better than this."

 

Full Text of Letters Below:

 

February 5, 2018

 

Hon. Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General                      Hon. Robert G. Taub, Chairman

United States Postal Service                                                      Postal Regulatory Commission

475 L'Enfant Plaza SW                                                                 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20260                                                                 Washington, Dc 20268

 

Dear Postmaster Brennan and Chairman Taub,

 

I am contacting you regarding recent changes to postal rates that have negatively impacted nonprofits that provide care packages to our servicemembers deployed abroad. These changes have resulted in devastating increases to postal charges for care packages that will severely limit the number of shipments these great organizations will be able to send out.

 

These rate changes are the result of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) consolidation of postal centers that process APO/FPO military mail. Previously, five of these centers located throughout the country processed packages to be sent to military installations abroad. However, these centers have now been consolidated into a single facility located in Chicago, Illinois. As a result, nonprofits and others wishing to send care packages to servicemembers must now pay the domestic postage rate from their location to Chicago, instead of the much more conveniently located centers they previously used.

 

Some nonprofits, such as Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey, will see a drastic increase in postage costs that will severely limit the number of packages they can afford to ship. As you can imagine, these care packages provide much need basic comforts and a morale boost to our servicemembers. As you know, care packages let the men and women of our Armed Forces know that the civilian population here at home is keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

 

These nonprofits understand the need to periodically adjust postage rates in order to maintain the fiscal health of the USPS. However, significant increases such as this, without advanced notice, have harmed their ability to provide this valuable service to the members of our Armed Forces.

 

As such, I ask that the USPS reverse these rate changes, so that nonprofit organizations can continue their efforts to support our military overseas. I expect a prompt response which rectifies this undue burden. Additionally, I will be requesting that the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform investigate this increase and the impact it is having on those who work to support our servicemembers.

 

February 5, 2018

 

Hon. Trey Gowdy, Chairman                                                     Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking member

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform        Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

2157 Rayburn House Office Building                                    2471 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                                                 Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Gowdy and Ranking Member Cummings,

 

I am contacting you regarding recent changes to postal rates that have negatively impacted nonprofits that provide care packages to our servicemembers deployed abroad. These changes have resulted in devastating increases to postal charges for care packages that will severely limit the number of shipments these great organizations will be able to send out.

 

These rate changes are the result of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) consolidation of postal centers that process APO/FPO military mail. Previously, five of these centers located throughout the country processed packages to be sent to military installations abroad. However, these centers have now been consolidated into a single facility located in Chicago, Illinois. As a result, nonprofits and others wishing to send care packages to our troops must now pay the domestic postage rate from their location to Chicago, instead of the much more conveniently located centers they previously used.

 

Some nonprofits, such as Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey, will see a drastic increase in postage costs that will severely limit the number of packages they can afford to ship. As you can imagine, these care packages provide much need basic comforts and a morale boost to our servicemembers. As you know, care packages let the men and women of our Armed Forces know that the civilian population here at home is keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

 

These nonprofits understand the need to periodically adjust postage rates in order to maintain the fiscal health of the USPS. However, significant increases such as this, without advanced notice, have harmed their ability to provide this valuable service to the members of our Armed Forces.

 

As leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over the USPS, I respectfully request that the Committee investigate these changes to the processing of military mail and how this significant rate increase will impact non-profits and the work they do on behalf of the our Armed Forces.