There’s usually nothing less controversial in the U.S. Congress than naming post offices.
But a kerfuffle on names has split the Florida delegation, with Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of St. Petersburg, along with Republicans Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube, blocking the naming of a Delray Beach post office for a hero of the Nazi Holocaust.
Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, filed a bill to name the post office after Benjamin Berell Ferencz, an American lawyer who investigated and led the prosecution in the Nuremberg trials of the Einsatzgruppen, murder squads that slaughtered Jews and others in German-conquered territories.
Luna also has blocked a bill by Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, to name an office after the late Robert Guevara, a political leader in the Osceola County Puerto Rican community and the county’s first Puerto Rican commissioner.
Renaming a post office requires unanimous consent of the state’s delegation. In a House floor statement Nov. 1, Gaetz said he withdrew from the Frankel bill “with great regret and hopefully temporarily.”
Spokesmen for Frankel, Soto, Steube and Gaetz didn’t respond to questions about the impasse.
Luna said in a written statement that she’s been trying to rename a post office after Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, one of 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing and gun attack at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport during the 2021 American evacuation of Afghanistan. His mother lives in Luna’s district.
Luna said a Florida Democratic congresswoman, whom she wouldn’t name, “has chosen to use her power to hold up the renaming, due to what I’m told is a petty personal grievance with me.”
Luna said she is withdrawing her name from all post office renaming bills as result.