Naming post offices a priority for Congress as legislation to help postal service failed

missed4b_image_1024w

Congress cannot seem to reach consensus on legislation to revamp the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service. But lawmakers sure have spent a lot of time on other urgent business involving the nation’s teetering mail agency: Naming post offices.

That’s the conclusion of an report Tuesday in the Courier Express and Postal Observer, which took data from 1973 to 2012 compiled by Noah Veltman and found a huge increase in the number of laws to name post offices and in their relative share of the legislation passed by recent congresses.

The postal blog says that more than 15 percent of all bills passed and signed into law in the last five congresses named a post office. The practice spiked after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and has continued during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The naming of post offices to honor American heroes is a powerful tradition. But its spike in recent years, as Congress has been unable to make postal reform a top priority because of ideological differences and other priorities (fiscal cliff, anyone?) is a delicious irony for some.

“If Congress expected that.. naming a post office would provide a long-lasting memorial, the financial problems of the Postal Service risk making the memorial an ephemeral one at best,” writes Alan Robinson, the Courier’s publisher.

He continues: “It is too bad that Congress does not understand the irony in its rush to name post offices to honor heroes when it has not taken steps to ensure the survival of the institution whose facilities are used to provide the memorial.”

 

 

Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.

politics

federal-eye

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Politics

politics

federal-eye

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Steve Vogel · January 8, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.