Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Rural Post Office Reconstruction Act of 2023, new legislation that would establish a clear timeframe for reopening rural post offices that experience closure due to natural disaster damage or other unforeseen circumstances.
On August 4, 2023, in Baring, Mo., an EF-2 tornado almost completely destroyed the town’s Post Office, in addition to damaging nearby homes and businesses. There is still no public timetable for the reconstruction of the Post Office.
"Rural post offices are critical to the daily life of Missourians and Americans everywhere who live in small towns—and they must stay open whenever possible,"said Senator Hawley. "My bill guarantees the timely reconstruction of damaged post offices, ensuring rural residents have access to the medical deliveries and other vital services they depend on."
The Rural Post Office Reconstruction Act of 2023 would require:
- Timely reconstruction of severely damaged post offices;
- Reopening closed post offices;
- Reporting to Congress in the event remediation is not completed in the specific timeframe.
Earlier this month, Senator Hawley sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis Dejoy of the United States Postal Service seeking an update on the status of the Post Office in Baring, Mo.Read the full bill text here.