News Byte: Postal Reform Act Markup Set for Wednesday

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Future rates hang in the balace in D.C.
Future rates hang in the balace in D.C.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee announced it will hold a business meeting to mark up the Postal Reform Act of 2013 this Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Mailers are vehemently opposed to Section 301 of the new version of the legislation being submitted by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). Section 301 of the bill would make the recent 4.3% exigent rate increase permanent by establishing it as the baseline for further rate increases and add 1% to the annual CPI cap rate adjustment. In addition, it would remove the requirement that the Postal Regulatory Commission review and pre-approve rate changes before they're implemented and return full rate-setting powers to the U.S. Postal Service.

Direct mailers will be interested to see if committee member Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will succeed in altering any of the rate setting provisions of the bill.  On record as being opposed to Section 301, she noted in a December speech at Quad/Graphics that Wisconsin's paper manufacturing industry depends on business from bulk mailers and “so we're very sensitive as a state economy to changes in postal rates.”

The markup session can be viewed live via webstream available on the committee's website, www.hsgac.senate.gov.

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