Postal regulator backs change in Senate reform bill

The head of the Postal Service’s regulator is pushing back on a Senate proposal that would reduce her commission’s oversight power over the price of stamps and other postal products.

Ruth Goldway, the chairwoman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, said the proposal from Sens. Tom CarperTom CarperGovernors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare Overnight Healthcare: GOP'S repeal-only plan quickly collapses in Senate Dem leaders amp up calls for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes MORE (D-Del.) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnCongress, stop using our nation's military policy for political purposes Congress must rid itself of political 'pork' to preserve its integrity 'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress MORE (R-Okla.) would give USPS’s board too much power over its own rates.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to resume marking up the bill from Carper, the panel’s chairman, and Coburn, its top Republican, on Thursday. The two senators propose making permanent a current temporary rate hike, and giving the Postal Service greater latitude in revising its rate system come 2017 – a move that would diminish the power of the PRC.

In a letter to Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinTrump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate Former senator investigated man in Trump Jr. meeting for money laundering Dems abuse yet another Senate tradition to block Trump's agenda MORE (D-Mich.), Goldway endorsed a proposal from Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinSteel industry urges House panel to adopt 'Buy America' rules Major progressive group endorses Martha McSally challenger Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-Wis.) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSenate Dems warn potential Missouri GOP recruit with opposition research dump GOP rep declines Senate bid challenging McCaskill Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-Mo.) that would amend the current bill’s treatment on pricing.

That amendment, Goldway writes, preserves the PRC’s oversight powers “and will continue to ensure that prices for postal products are predictable, stable and fair, while continuing to incent the Postal Service to reduce costs and gain efficiencies.”

Carper has responded to criticism of the pricing proposal by saying the mailing industry has to make their own sacrifices in getting the Postal Service on firmer financial footing.