WASHINGTON — Two Missouri Congressmen want a federal commission to evaluate U.S. Postal Service rates and determine if the agency is raising costs above normal inflation-based levels.

U.S. Reps. Sam Graves and Emmanuel Cleaver, of Missouri, are co-sponsors of H.R. 8781 known as the Ensuring Accurate Postal Rates Act. Virginia’s U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly introduced the legislation Sept. 9.

The legislation calls for the Postal Regulatory Commission to reexamine the rate-setting system it established for the U.S. Postal Service in 2020. According to a report from Government Executive, the new system allowed the agency to adjust rates to account for inflation, declining mail volume, and rising retiree costs.

Graves said the U.S. Postal Service has a $60 billion net profit last quarter after the agency received another $10 billion in COVID-19 relief funding. He claims this happened to shore up the Postal Service as the agency faced financial difficulties, though argues the hikes are larger than expected for customers.

“The Postal Regulatory Commission needs to closely re-evaluate the agency’s continued authority to raise postage rates above inflation, particularly now that Congress has lifted the mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund retiree benefits,” said Graves via a news release.

“It’s time for the United States Postal Service to live up to its promise to reliably deliver the mail 6 days a week at a reasonable price. Congress has given them the tools to do it, now they just need to get the job done.” 

This legislation comes after Congress passed the Postal Service Reform Act earlier this year to lift a longtime requirement that the United States Postal Service prefund retiree benefits. The bill has been referred t a U.S. House committee on oversight and reform.

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