Graves Authors Legislation to Re-Evaluate Postal Rate Hikes
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen Sam Graves (MO-06) introduced H.R. 8781, the Ensuring Accurate Postal Rates Act alongside Congressman Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), and Congressman Jake LaTurner (KS-02) to rein in rapidly rising postal rates.
“The United States Postal Service just posted a $60 billion net profit last quarter and we just gave them $10 billion in COVID relief funding,” Graves said. “The Postal Regulatory Commission needs to closely re-evaluate the agency’s continued authority to raise postage rates above inflation, particularly now that Congress has lifted the mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree benefits. Not to mention millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet with the cost of living skyrocketing under President Biden’s leadership. It’s time for the United States Postal Service to live up to its promise to reliably deliver the mail 6 days a week at a reasonable price. Congress has given them the tools to do it, now they just need to get the job done.”
The Ensuring Accurate Postal Rates Act directs the Postal Regulatory Commission to reexamine the rate-setting system it established in 2020. The new system allowed the United States Postal Service (USPS) to adjust rates to account for inflation, declining mail volume, and rising retiree costs. Historically, USPS has only raised rates with inflation. These changes were meant to shore up the Postal Service as the agency faced financial difficulties.
However, Congress passed the Postal Service Reform Act earlier this year, which lifted the longstanding requirement that the United States Postal Service prefund retiree benefits. That change, along with a recent rise in package volumes, led the USPS to announce a $59.7 billion net profit in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022.
In light of these recent developments, it is clear the USPS needs to re-evaluate the way the agency considers and implements postage increases—particularly when millions of Americans are struggling to deal with the rising costs of inflation.
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