Mikulski threatens filibuster over Easton

Sen. Barbara Mikulski formally threatened to filibuster a bill to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service because of concerns she has about the proposed closing of Easton's mail processing center, the Maryland Democrat's office said Thursday.

The bipartisan bill would allow the Postal Service to end Saturday delivery and offer buyouts to employees. It would not affect the Easton plant directly, but because the U.S. Postal Service supports the measure, Mikulski is hoping to use it as leverage.

The Postal Service announced this year it is studying moving the Easton mail sorting facility to another plant in Wilmington, Del. About 130 people work at the plant, the only one remaining on the Eastern Shore. By placing a hold on the bill, supporters would need to gather 60 votes to bring it to the Senate floor.

"I must object to moving forward on consideration of this legislation while the USPS continues a rushed study to close a needed mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland," Mikulski wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Making matters worse, USPS plans no public hearings and no opportunity for written comment in this study process. This is totally unacceptable."

A lead sponsor of the legislation is Delaware Democratic Sen. Tom Carper. Carper has stated publicly that if the Easton plant is to be closed then its work should be moved to a facility outside Wilmington. The decision by USPS to study moving the facility to Wilmington, rather than Baltimore, has angered Maryland's delegation. 

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