Mailers Wage War Against USPSSeptember 2010
WASHINGTON, DC—The Affordable Mail Alliance (AMA) has implored the Postal Regulatory Commission to dismiss the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) recent rate hike proposal, arguing that it violates the cost controls Congress put into law to protect consumers, and that the USPS needs to cut costs and modernize rather than raise rates an average of 10 times the rate of inflation.
"Allowing the Postal Service to raise prices above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in this case would nullify the single most important safeguard for mailers and the public in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA)," AMA argues in its motion. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), an author of the 2006 law, has already said the proposed increases do not qualify for an exception under the standards established by Congress.
The PAEA limits the average postal rate hike to inflation as measured by the CPI. There is an exception to the CPI cap only for "exigent circumstances" when the Postal Service could not continue operating without overall price increases above the CPI.
This exception is intended only for "extraordinary or exceptional circumstances" that would leave the USPS short of funds to provide necessary services despite "the best practices of honest, efficient and economical management." The AMA argues that the Postal Service has not met that test. PI