Monday Morning Brief | United States Postal Service news

January 25, 2016 08:20 AM

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman reports on news stories involving the United States Postal Service and also takes a look at two new high-denomination stamps in the American Landmarks series.

Full Video Transcript: 

Good morning and welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for January 25.

Linn’s Washington Correspondent Bill McAllister reports on two interesting news stories involving the United States Postal Service. McAllister reports that almost 30 percent of the $1 billion in Internet sales recorded by the United States Postal Service in fiscal 2015 came from postage stamps and postal stationery. The Postal Service announced Dec. 8 that its website had reached “a major milestone for the 15-year-old site” by generating more than $1 billion in sales.”

McAllister also reports that the USPS is giving up its efforts to end Saturday mail deliveries. Faced with continued opposition in Congress, Postal Service is throwing in the towel. Former Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe proposed ending Saturday mail deliveries as a key element in the USPS cost-cutting plans, but members of Congress have repeatedly rejected those plans.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee at a Jan. 21 hearing. She did not mention ending Saturday mail delivery, but she strongly urged the committee to keep in place the current postage rate of 49¢. You might recall that an emergency increase was granted in 2013 that boosted first-class postal rates to 49¢. Brennan is asking the committee to keep that increase in place.

The U.S. Postal Service has produced its first postage stamp to exceed a $20 denomination. The $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Express Mail stamp was issued Jan. 17. The high-denomination stamp has another claim to fame, at least for collectors of U.S. plate numbers. It is the first U.S. stamp printed by Banknote Corporation of America using a plate number beginning with the letter B.

The stamp shows the Columbia River Gorge, located in the Pacific Northwest along the border separating Washington and Oregon, with the Columbia River running through it on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Also issued Jan. 17 was a $6.45 stamp intended for Priority Mail use and printed by Ashton Potter USA Ltd. The stamp features La Cueva del Indio, an archaeological site on Puerto Rico’s north coast, near Arecibo, about 50 miles west of San Juan. A Priority Mail stamped envelope showing the La Cueva del Indio also was issued Jan. 17.

Both stamps feature the artwork of illustrator Dan Cosgrove and are new additions to the American Landmarks series, which arguable offers some of the most beautiful stamps in recent U.S. stamp history. The series shows natural or manmade sights from the United States and its possessions.

For the most up-to-date stamp news, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott Publishing, I’m Donna. Enjoy your week in stamps.