Several post office branches in the Capitol closed earlier this year. At the start of 2014, the branch in the Dirksen Building will serve all the Senate’s needs.
The post office in the Russell Senate Office Building will close at the end of 2013, as the Senate consolidates its postal services.
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the post office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., will serve all the chamber’s mailing and shipping needs.
The decision to shutter the Russell location, found in room 34-B of the building’s brick-walled basement, follows a thorough review of all aspects of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms operation “in an effort to promote greater efficiency and meet shrinking budget allocations,” according to an announcement on the chamber’s internal website obtained by CQ Roll Call.
“In a review of the two retail unit locations for the Senate Post Office, it was determined the Russell Post Office lacked sufficient revenue and customers to support the staffing and equipment needed to maintain the unit,” the notice said.On Monday afternoon, one employee stood behind the salmon-colored counter of the Russell location. The shelves were spread with packing boxes and a Toys for Tots donation box sat half-full, holding Hot Wheels and a stuffed Minnie Mouse.
The Dirksen Post Office, located near the north entrance to the building’s cafeteria, was manned by two clerks and a supervisor. A bright orange dragon’s head poked out from the Toys for Tots box near the entrance. Two customers stood in line, picking up money orders and stamps.
The Russell Post Office closure follows the shuttering of three House-side post offices at the end of September.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.