Chairman Carper Statement on Postal Service’s Rate Increase

WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following reaction to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors’ decision to increase postal rates by 5.9 percent, increasing the price of first-class stamps to 49 cents:

“It’s no secret that the U.S. Postal Service continues to face serious financial challenges and is looking for ways to improve its dire fiscal situation. For several years, the Postal Service has moved forward with aggressive measures to cut costs and increase revenue. However, these piecemeal efforts are not enough on their own to fundamentally fix the Postal Service’s severe financial problems. While I understand the Board of Governors’ desire to take whatever steps that it can do on its own to keep the lights on at the Postal Service, I believe the best way to help the Postal Service gain a sustainable financial footing is through comprehensive postal reform legislation. Ultimately, Congressional action, with the support of the Administration, is the best way to solve the Postal Service’s financial crisis and alleviate the need for the Postal Service to take drastic steps independently. Today’s decision by the Board of Governors reiterates the serious nature of the Postal Service’s financial condition and further underscores the need for Congress to move quickly to pass comprehensive postal reform legislation. I hope this announcement brings key stakeholders to the table and urges all parties to work harder to find common ground.”

In August, Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced the bipartisan Postal Reform Act of 2013 (S. 1486). The bill seeks to address the Postal Service’s financial challenges by helping it streamline operations and giving it new tools the Postal Service can use to introduce innovative new products and generate additional revenue, and do so while preserving essential services.