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.
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.