The postmaster general says the Postal Service has no choice but to ask for an emergency rate hike given the agency's dire finances.
Patrick Donahoe testified on Capitol Hill Thursday, the day after his cash-strapped agency proposed a price hike.
Donahoe is urging swift action by Congress to overhaul the Postal Service and fix its finances.
The post office expects to lose $6 billion this year. It wants to raise stamp prices by 3 cents next year. The request must be approved by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.
The Postal Service also backs a Senate bill that would end Saturday mail delivery and end door-to-door delivery for new residential and business addresses.
Many lawmakers and postal worker unions say the delivery changes would inconvenience customers.