PIA Reacts to Postal Rate Hike Announcement
The Printing Industries of America (PIA), Alexandria, Va., is urging swift Congressional action on postal reform in response to the United States Postal Services’s (USPS) May 3 announcement of a plan to significantly increase postal rates in 2007. In a letter to Congressional leaders, PIA stressed that the nation is operating under severely outdated postal laws, and legislative overhaul is needed to keep the mailing industry, which accounts for 9 percent of United States’ GDP, viable in the future.
“The new proposed rate hike is another pocket-book reminder for business and individual consumers that the USPS is a 21st century entity operating under laws that do not allow for current communications trends, the Internet, increasing costs of health and labor benefits for USPS employees and retirees, and other modern-day marketplace realities,” said Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of government affairs for PIA. “Under the leadership of Senators Susan Collins and Tom Carper, and Representatives Tom Davis and Henry Waxman, Congress is on the cusp of approving the first major overhaul of postal laws in 36 years. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act overwhelmingly passed the Senate in Feb. 2006, and the House of Representatives in Aug. 2005. The bipartisan bills do not solve all problems associated with postal reform, but they make great strides toward improving the current situation. Now is the time for Congress, especially in light of the USPS’s announcement, to complete this important legislative work.”
Key provisions in the Senate- and House-passed postal bills address problems in payments for postal employee pensions, and tie future rate increases to the consumer price index to provide more predictability and affordability for mailing economy. The printing industry is a key segment within the $900 billion mailing economy. PIA members across the country have delivered hundreds of grassroots communications to Congress in support of passing postal reform this year.