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Jul292011

With No Debt Limit Vote, House Turns to Naming Post Offices

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite what some government officials have billed as a possible financial Armageddon looming four days away and with no viable deal yet reached to raise the debt ceiling, lawmakers took a break from the debt debate Thursday night and turned their attention to post offices.

Eight post office naming bills came to the House floor just two days after the U.S. Postal Service announced its plans to close nearly 3,700 post offices this year in order to deal with its $8.3 billion budget deficit.

The first naming bill debated was for a post office in Peoria, Illinois, a state which may lose more than 100 post offices within the year.  The bill would name a postal building after Charles “Chip” Lawrence Chan, who worked in the World Trade Center and was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

Another bill was to name a post office in Pasadena, California the “First Lieutenant Oliver Goodall Post Office Building," in honor of a decorated African American air force pilot.  Goodall “challenged the segregation of the officers club” and was arrested for it, said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. 

“This is a worthy man to honor.  He had a life that served many people,” Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., said on the House floor.

One bill passed with a voice vote, but votes on the other seven were postponed.

So far this year, almost 50 bills to rename post offices have been introduced.  Three of those bills have made it to the president’s desk, representing a full 13 percent of all legislation signed by President Obama this year.

Throughout the previous legislative session, the 111th Congress introduced 427 bills to name post offices and passed more than 70 of them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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