Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) – a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) – and HSGAC Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reopen the Baring, Mo., Post Office. The Senators also requested that the USPS reopen other post offices it has placed under “emergency suspension” due to natural disasters or the need for repairs. Senators Hawley and Peters' letter comes after the USPS claimed that within 90 days it expected to have a timeline for rebuilding the Baring, Mo., Post Office.

"The Baring facility closed after receiving severe tornado damage in August 2023, but residents have received no information about when it will be reopened," the Senators wrote. This situation reflects similar delays nationwide in repairing post offices and resolving suspensions, which USPS should promptly address.

They continued, "As you know, Americans living in rural areas face severe challenges to daily life without a functioning post office. This includes significant barriers to accessing reliable medical delivery, payment disbursements, and communications. We urge you to finalize and disclose USPS’s plan to reopen the Baring Post Office within 30 calendar days. We also urge you to cooperate with the PRC by providing detailed plans and timelines for resolving all post offices suspended from 2017 through 2023.

Following a letter sent to Postmaster General DeJoy in September seeking an update on the status of the Post Office in Baring, Mo., Senator Hawley introduced the Rural Post Office Reconstruction Act of 2023. This legislation would establish a clear timeframe for reopening rural post offices that experience closure due to natural disaster damage or other unforeseen circumstances.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee oversees the USPS.

Read the full letter here or below.

January 25, 2024

Mr. Louis DeJoy
Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:

We write to request an update on reopening the Post Office in Baring, Missouri and urge you to expeditiously reopen other post offices that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has placed under “emergency suspension” due to natural disasters or the need for repairs. The Baring post office and other suspended post offices remain critical lifelines for constituents in rural areas and other USPS customers.

The Baring facility closed after receiving severe tornado damage in August 2023, but residents have received no information about when it will be reopened. This situation reflects similar delays nationwide in repairing post offices and resolving suspensions, which USPS should promptly address.

On September 6, 2023, Senator Hawley sent a letter to USPS requesting the expeditious reopening of the Baring Post Office building In response, USPS claimed that within 90 days, it expected to have a timeline for rebuilding the facility, in cooperation with the building’s landlord. USPS policies also require it to develop a “plan of action” for resolving a post office emergency suspension within 3 months of the suspension. Although 90 days have now passed since USPS’s reply, USPS has not shared this timeline or additional details on when Baring’s post office will reopen.

Post offices closed due to “emergency suspension” are a concern for USPS customers nationwide. Since this initial letter, we have heard about this issue on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee from Commissioner Robert G. Taub of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), who affirmed that USPS tends to “drag their feet” in decisions to resolve suspended post offices like the Baring Post Office.[6] In its oversight of suspended post offices, the PRC highlighted that at the end of FY 2022, there were 381 suspended post offices, including 88 post office suspensions that remain unresolved since 2017 and 98 newly suspended in FY22.[1] As of the end of 2023, USPS reported to the PRC that there are a total of 373 suspended post offices. The PRC has ordered USPS to provide a detailed plan and timeline for resolving post offices suspended in recent years (from FY 2017 through FY 2023).

As you know, Americans living in rural areas face severe challenges to daily life without a functioning post office. This includes significant barriers to accessing reliable medical delivery, payment disbursements, and communications. We urge you to finalize and disclose USPS’s plan to reopen the Baring Post Office within 30 calendar days. We also urge you to cooperate with the PRC by providing detailed plans and timelines for resolving all post offices suspended from 2017 through 2023.

As members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight over USPS, we know the important work that USPS performs on a daily basis for millions of Americans. We are committed to ensuring USPS maintains a high level of service for all customers, including for rural residents and those impacted by natural disasters.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.



Sincerely, 


Josh Hawley 
U.S. Senator 

Gary C. Peters 
U.S. Senator