The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will be releasing a Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) sponsored Substitute Amendment to S. 1486, the “Postal Reform Act of 2013.” DMA has been opposed and remains opposed to the Postal Reform Act of 2013.
The current Section 301, the part of the bill that deals with postal rate structure, would eliminate the CPI cap on postage rates for market dominant classes of mail, including First-Class and Standard Mail. DMA has consistently opposed this measure since it would lead to significantly higher postage costs for its members.
Under the Carper-Coburn substitute, Section 301 would restore the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)’s role in approving exigent requests to raise rates above the rate cap. It would also adjust the rate cap by: 1) making the temporary exigent rate request recently approved by the PRC the new baseline for future rate increases, and; 2) changing the cap to CPI+1 percent applied to all of the USPS’s “Market Dominant” products as a whole. The new cap would remain in place until at least the end of 2016. Beginning in 2017, USPS may by majority vote of the Board of Governors establish a new rate system.
DMA is extremely disappointed with the proposed changes in the Carper-Coburn substitute. All parties have worked long and hard to come up with good Postal Reform legislation. This sets us back at a time when we need to move forward and this is not a path we can support. DMA will continue to work toward a solution that keeps the Postal Service solvent while safeguarding the mailing community.