Postal Service may need emergency rate hike, postmaster says - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Postal Service may need emergency rate hike, postmaster says

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Postal Service may need an emergency rate increase to stay afloat.

That's according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who's testifying before a Senate committee. Donahue says the agency's cash balance next month likely will cover only five days of its average daily expenses.

The panel is looking at a plan to fix the agency's finances, including ending Saturday delivery and changing the way retiree health care costs are calculated.

Without help from Congress, the agency expects its multibillion-dollar annual losses to worsen.

Media and marketing firms that depend on postal services say a broad rate hike could hurt their business.

The independent Postal Regulatory Commission must approve any emergency postal rate increase request.

"We've lost 27 percent of our mail over the course of the last five to six years," Donahoe said earlier this year. "And when that happens, you have to make changes."

In addition to selling post offices, the Postal Service has already reduced its workforce by nearly 200,000 and cut 21,000 mail routes.

 © 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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