Panel Says No to Postal Rate Hike

The Postal Regulatory Commission has denied the Postal Service's request for a 5.6 percent emergency rate increase, saying that while USPS was facing an "exigent circumstance" due to the economic recession, the agency had failed to justify the boost.

"The commission finds that the requested exigent rate adjustments are not due to the recent recession, or its impact on mail volume," said Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Ruth Y. Goldway in a statement. "Rather, they represent an attempt to address long-term structural problems not caused by the recent recession."

The five-member commission's decision was unanimous. It comes the same week that Congress declined to provide the Postal Service $4 billion in relief from prefunding retiree health benefits. Goldway said the requirement that USPS fund such premiums in advance was "overly ambitious."