Another milestone in fight to reverse postal rate hike
The fight to reverse rate hikes for standard post packages – formerly known as parcel post – cleared a major hurdle last week with the Postal Regulatory Commission decision to roll back the rate increases. The increases have created financial hardships for residents and small businesses in rural communities across Alaska who ship and receive large packages.
“Today was a huge win in my fight to roll back these unfair rate hikes for Alaska communities off the road system,” said Sen. Mark Begich. “The Postal Service plays a critical role in Alaska communities for the delivery of everything from medicine to groceries. As soon as I heard about the rate increases last month, I had a very frank discussion with Postmaster General Donahoe. During that meeting I made myself very clear: roll back the rates or I will do it for you.”
At the Feb. 6 meeting, Begich was told to expect a rapid repeal of the rates but the quick turnaround was stymied by requirements for PRC approval and a 30-day notice of the proposed change in the Federal Register. The changes can go into effect on March 20, which marks the end of the 30-day Federal Register publication requirement.
“There were some unexpected bureaucratic hoops but I am pleased that relief from the higher parcel post rates is on the way for Alaskans,” said Begich. “My office has been hounding the Postal Service and the PRC over the past month to expedite the process and I’m happy that we’ve cleared a major milestone today.