THE CONGRESS The 5¢ Bargin

For years the Administration has been trying to raise the first-class-mail rate as part of its drive to end the postal deficit, which is running over $650 million a year. Last week, thanks to unexpected party solidarity among the Republicans (only two G.O.P. defections, v. five party-line-crossing Democrats), the Senate voted 49 to 42 to raise the rate on in-town letters to 4¢, to raise out-of-town mail to 5¢.

But the vote was hardly a clear-cut victory for fiscal responsibility. For one thing, with a canny display of practical...

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