On April 6, President Joe Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act, H.R. 3076, which provides $107 billion in direct and indirect support for the United States Postal Service (USPS). This is the first major piece of reform for the USPS in 15 years, which had wide bipartisan support. View Biden’s remarks and the bill signing ceremony.
Key provisions include:
- expansion of special rates for local newspaper distribution to promote local news organizations,
- service performance transparency including a new public-facing, online dashboard with national and local level service performance data updated each week to help promote compliance with on-time delivery of mail,
- repeal mandatory pre-funding of retiree health benefits to financially stabilize the Postal Service and curb rate increases,
- six-day integrated delivery, and
- study on operational inefficiencies in Postal Service flats and magazine processing
Meanwhile, on April 6, the USPS filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes to take effect July 10. In both Periodicals and Marketing Mail, the USPS is setting price signals to encourage mailers to prepare their mailings in ways that are less costly to handle and deliver. For Periodicals, the overall increase is 8.540%, with Outside County receiving an average increase of 8.581% and Within County 7.751%. In Marketing Mail, the increases (while high) are relatively smaller for saturation flats and tend to get smaller as the mail pieces get heavier. Also in Marketing Mail, the Postal Service is proposing a discount for Saturation and High-Density flats prepared and entered in 5-Digit direct containers (e.g., pallets, sacks, and tubs).
The Alliance will continue to work with the USPS, Congress, and other stakeholders to continue addressing increasing postal rates.
Holly Lubart is a Government Affairs Consultant for the News Media Alliance. Previously, she served as Vice President of Government Affairs for the PA NewsMedia Association and started her career as a journalist. Lubart has over 20 years of political and communications experience.