The U.S. Postal Service on Friday announced plans to raise the price of first-class stamps from 55 to 58 cents, the latest step in Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice Biden nominates two picks to replace members of US Postal Service board Postal Service loss nearly halved MORE’s 10-year plan to make up for billions in financial losses within the agency.
The Postal Service said in a press release that it had filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission requesting the price changes, which are set to take effect Aug. 29.
Under new commission rules adopted in November, the Postal Service is allowed to continue its annual inflation-based price increases, as well as additional rises in rates based on the increasing number of delivery points mail carriers must reach each week, The Washington Post reported.
In addition to the price increase for first-class stamps, postage for other items will also be raised including letters, postcards, marketing mail and outbound international letters, according to the press release.
The Postal Service said the planned price changes would raise service costs by 6.9 percent, with first-class mail prices increasing by 6.8 percent. The agency said the price increases are meant to help “offset declining revenue due to First-Class Mail volume declines.”
The Postal Service suffered devastating losses during the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the agency warned that the pandemic posed a danger to its survival.
"It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic will substantially increase the Postal Service's net operating loss over the next eighteen months, threatening the Postal Service's ability to operate," the agency wrote in a press release at the time.
DeJoy said in a statement Friday, “For the past 14 years, the Postal Service has had limited pricing authority to respond to changing market realities.”
“As part of our 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service and the Board of Governors are committed to judiciously implementing a rational pricing approach that helps enable us to remain viable and competitive and offer reliable postal services that are among the most affordable in the world,” he added.
Democratic lawmakers have pushed back on DeJoy’s 10-year plan, which also includes increasing the service standard for first-class mail by a day and reducing post office hours.
Days after the plans were released, a group of House Democrats unveiled a bill, titled the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act, or DEJOY Act, seeking to block the changes outlined in the postmaster general’s 10-year goals.
The Democrats were led by Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiUS braces for omicron to hit Former Washington Football Team cheerleaders, employees to protest outside stadium Rapper Wale to headline Washington Football Team halftime show MORE (D-Ill.), who told the Post at the time that the first-class standard change “would be a nonstarter” for “the American people.”
DeJoy, a Trump appointee, has also faced calls to resign after he faced scrutiny over his proposed changes leading up to the 2020 election and the postal service’s ability to handle the influx of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthWe must learn from the Afghanistan experience — starting with the withdrawal As democracy withers, Bob Dole and other American soldiers must be remembered Overnight Defense & National Security — Austin mandates vaccine for Guardsmen MORE (D-Ill.) called on her supporters to urge the Board of Governors to remove DeJoy after the board claimed that the former Trump donor “continues to enjoy the Board's full support.”