Statement: News/Media Alliance Calls on Congress to Fix Unsustainable, Excessive Postal Rate Increases

This week, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of further rate increases for market-dominant mail. The increases are due to take effect in July and represent an average additional increase close to 10% (9.758% for Outside County and 9.701% for In-County, with the underwater surcharge factored in). The USPS has increased postage rates twice a year over the last four years at levels well above the rate of inflation, leading to postal costs that are excessive and unsustainable for news and magazine publishers that rely on the postal system to deliver quality journalism to Americans.

These new rates – on top of rates increased earlier in the year – may put companies out of business. The News/Media Alliance is calling on Congress to question the Delivering for America Plan, which is costing billions of dollars.

“News publishers are already under serious threat due to significant loss of advertising revenue to Big Tech that has pushed many local news publishers out of business. That coupled with rising print and delivery costs has left them with few options to continue delivering the critical news and information that American’s want and need,” said News/Media Alliance President & CEO Danielle Coffey. “Many of our members depend on the postal system, but the frequency and amount of postal rate increases is unsustainable. If this trend continues, this will mean less news and information ending up in the hands of local residents, which is harmful to our democracy. We ask Congress to help stop the bleeding from USPS’s outrageous rate increases that are doing more harm than good.”

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is holding a postal hearing, “Oversight of the United States Postal Service” on Tuesday, April 16th at 10:00 am. Postmaster General DeJoy will be testifying. The Alliance commends Committee Chairman Gary Peters for including the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) as witnesses.

Since August 2021, even with a price cap in place, news and magazine publishers are seeing price increases that are 254% above the rate of inflation, which at that level is unsurprisingly leading many small, local newspapers and magazines to cut staff, shutter titles, or worse close their doors.

The Alliance applauds the PRC for initiating a proceeding to review the ratemaking system earlier than anticipated. Many things go into setting the postal rates and it is important to ensure that all voices are heard to understand the true impact these changes will have on those who depend on and pay into the postal system.

The Alliance, other stakeholder groups and more have been sounding the alarm for the last four years that the twice-annual postal rate increases, above and beyond the rate of inflation, are an existential threat to publishers, harming their ability to stay afloat and deliver quality journalism, which serves to ensure American’s rights to free speech and a free press, protected under the First Amendment.




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