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18-cent letters, not 20, backed by postal panel

The independent Postal Rate Commission endorsed raising the cost of mailing a first-class letter to 18 cents -- 2 cents less than the 20-cent stamp sought by the Postal Service. The commission also recommended a 12- cent post card instead of the Postal Service's proposed 13-cent rate. Other mail rate changes were suggested.

Commission chairman A. Lee Fritschler told a Senate subcommittee hearing that the ratemaking panel cut $1 billion from the $3.75 billion rate increase sought by the Postal Service.

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