NNA applauds Democratic House Oversight leaders all for PRC to halt July rate increase

May 24, 2024

NNA Applauds Democratic House Oversight Leaders Call for PRC to Halt July Rate Increase

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Ranking Member, Jamie Raskin (D-MD), has asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to halt the large rate increase scheduled for July.  He was joined by Representative Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) who holds a leadership position on the subcommittee overseeing the USPS and Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) who serve on the committee. 

The lawmakers assert that the increase should be blocked because the USPS has failed to meet its statutory requirement to “maintain high-quality service standards.” They noted the commission’s review of USPS performance in fiscal 2023 found the agency missed its targets for more than half of its market-dominant products. 

The lawmakers said postal management has not appropriately considered the impact the rate changes would have on the general public and large-scale mail users, arguing it is instead pursuing a strategy that will drive more mail out of the system. Mail volume declines have increased sharply since the USPS began a pattern of twice-a-year above-inflation increases that, adding in the hike planned for July, have driven postage costs for newspaper publishers up more than 50% in the last three years.

“We are concerned with the extent to which the pace of these postage price changes may contribute to volume declines in excess of earlier projections on total mail volume,” the lawmakers said in their letter. 

This action comes less than two weeks after NNA representatives met with staff for Ranking Member Raskin during the Washington, D.C. Fly-in to highlight the increasingly poor service newspapers are receiving and the disastrous impact the punitive rate increases the USPS is levying on community newspapers will have. 

NNA Chair John Galer, publisher of The Journal-News in Hillsboro, Illinois, who led the fly-in contingent said “NNA applauds this action by Ranking Member Raskin and the colleagues who have joined him.  It responds directly to the concerns we raised earlier this month with his staff and we hope the PRC will heed their call.”