USPS Could Lose Its Relatively New Authority to Raise Rates Above Inflation Under a New Bill

Lawmakers question the need for the authority, as well as Louis DeJoy’s plans to consolidate mail sorting operations away from post offices.

The U.S. Postal Service could see its authority to raise prices at historically high rates revoked under a new bill, which would call on the agency’s regulator to reassess the extra leeway it provided two years ago.

The Ensuring Accurate Postal Rates Act, which Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., will introduce on Friday, would require the Postal Regulatory Commission to reexamine the rate-setting system it established in 2020. The measure would require the commission to take a new look at the authority provided to postal management in light of the Postal Service’s newfound financial situation after the passage of the Postal Service Reform Act and the pandemic-era boom to package business.

The new rate system the Postal Regulatory Commission established in 2020 created a complicated formula for setting prices derived from factors including inflation, declining mail and retiree costs. The Postal Service historically only raised its rates in line with inflation, but since 2021 Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has repeatedly used the new authority to increase prices at a far faster clip.


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