Congressman Requests Hearing on USPS/Valassis Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) sent a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa requesting a hearing on the negotiated service agreement approved by the U.S. Postal Service late last week.

In addition to Tipton, who spearheaded the effort, the letter was signed by Reps. Cory Gardner (CO), Ron Paul (TX), Tim Johnson (IL), Blake Farenthold (TX), Ken Calvert (CA), Michael Turner (OH), Jaime Herrera-Beutler (WA), Todd Platts (PA), Tim Griffin (AR), Brian Bilbray (CA), and Kay Granger (TX).
In the letter the members write:

“This new NSA would enable a single nationwide mailer postage rebates ranging from 20 to 36 percent and give certain advertisers a significant advantage over hundreds of smaller advertisers throughout the United States. The newspaper industry alone has estimated losses of close to $1 billion annually in ad revenues as a result of this new agreement. While we applaud the Postal Service for seeking innovative ways to get back on the path to fiscal solvency, we do not believe the USPS should be choosing winners and losers in the private sector.

Many small advertisers are already operating on thin margins as a result of the most recent economic downturn and the emergence of digital news and advertising. We are concerned that this new NSA will cause significant harm to small advertisers and further erode the financial stability of the print industry.

As the Postal Service is facing billion dollar annual deficits and has defaulted on payments for retiree health benefits, now is not the time for a monopolistic deal that could actually result in less revenue for the USPS. Based on the unique postage rebates of the NSA, many newspapers are concerned that retail advertising will shift from Sunday inserts and other advertising that benefits thousands of small advertisers to a monopoly for one large advertising mail company.

Small businesses create on average 7 out of every 10 new jobs and employ more than half of all Americans. In our current economy, the Postal Service should not be taking steps that could lead to further job losses and negative implications for small advertisers.”