On Tuesday, when Congress took on the rather routine task of naming a post office after icon, writer, activist and poet Maya Angelou, nine members saw fit to vote against the mostly symbolic measure. Mind you, this is a woman who already has a postage stamp with her likeness on it.
NBC News reports that an earlier vote to rename a post office in California the “Medal of Honor” Post Office passed 381-0, but when it was time to rename a Winston-Salem, N.C., post office after Angelou, that measure passed with only 371 votes.
Nine Republicans voted against the Maya Angelou bill, and one voted present.
“Congressman Harris voted against the Maya Angelou post office naming because she was a communist sympathizer,” said a spokesperson for Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) to NBC News. “His parents escaped communism and he feels that he cannot vote to name a post office in the United States in honor of someone who supported the communist Castro revolution in Cuba.”
The nine Republicans who voted against naming the post office after Angelou, in addition to Harris, were Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ken Buck of Colorado, Michael Burgess of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Alex Mooney of West Virginia and Steven Palazzo of Mississippi. Rep. Don Young of Alaska voted present.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said that he was shocked by his colleagues’ behavior.
“Naming post offices is one of the most benign and bipartisan duties we perform in the House of Representatives, and there is rarely any opposition. That’s why I was shocked today as nine Republicans voted against naming a post office after Maya Angelou, indisputably one of our country’s greatest poets, authors and civil rights activists. The fact that these nine members would cast a no vote shows a blatant disrespect and only adds to the damaging actions they’ve taken this year to reverse progress from long and hard-fought civil rights battles.”
Read more at NBC News.