Her image appears on postage stamps, but a group of GOP lawmakers say that’s enough.
Nine House Republicans voted against naming a Winston-Salem, N.C. post office in honor of civil rights activist and award-winning poet Maya Angelou, NBC Newsreports.
House of Representative votes to name post offices are typically a routine, non-political affair—often passing unanimously. But these nine Republicans rejected the plan to honor the Presidential Medal of Freedom winner:
Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ken Buck of Colorado, Michael Burgess of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Andy Harris of Maryland, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, and Steven Palazzo of Mississippi. Rep. Don Young of Alaska voted present.
Harris’ spokesman, Shelby Hodgkins, sent this statement to NBC News:
“Congressman Harris voted against the Maya Angelou post office naming because she was a communist sympathizer. 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.”
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) told the network that he was “shocked.” Naming post offices “is one of the most benign and bipartisan duties” for lawmakers, he said.
“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.”
NBC News said the other eight Republicans did not respond to requests for an interview to explain their vote.