4:02 PM EST

Stephen F. Lynch, D-MA 9th

Mr. LYNCH. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 414) to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 60 Calle McKinley, West in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, as the ``Miguel Angel Garcia Mendez Post Office Building''.

4:03 PM EST

Chris Carney, D-PA 10th

Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and insert extraneous material on the bill into the Record.

4:03 PM EST

Stephen F. Lynch, D-MA 9th

Mr. LYNCH. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues in this House in the consideration of H.R. 414, legislation naming a postal facility in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico after the local politician, Miguel Angel Garcia Mendez.

Mr. Garcia Mendez proudly served the territory of Puerto Rico as the youngest Speaker of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, serving between 1932 and 1940. He later was elected senator and founded the newspaper, El Imparcial.

Born in the town of Aguadilla on November 17, 1902, Mr. Garcia Mendez became an attorney and successful businessman. During his political career, he helped start the Republican Statehood Party, which was the predecessor of today's New Progressive Party, in 1948.

Up until his death, he advocated for Puerto Rico statehood in the hope that they would gain the right as American citizens to vote for President and to have a counted vote in the U.S. Congress.

Mr. Garcia Mendez passed away in November of 1998, and his dedication to service for all Puerto Ricans should be remembered and celebrated with this small tribute. [Page: H1443]

Mr. Speaker, together with my colleagues in the House, I urge the swift passage of this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:05 PM EST

Darrell Issa, R-CA 49th

Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I urge the passage of H.R. 414. It is an appropriate naming of a post office on behalf of a gentleman who for 96 years was a champion of statehood for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is not just a territory, Puerto Rico is in fact the largest of all the territories, having a population that would give it at least four Members of Congress if it were to become a State.

Although he never succeeded in bringing statehood to Puerto Rico, he kept the hope alive and the belief alive by the Puerto Rican people that in fact they were Americans, and that as Americans one of their options would be statehood.

As a prominent businessman, he founded the Western Bank and was the owner of a very prominent newspaper in Puerto Rico.

He was born on November 17, 1902, and throughout his career he championed many activities beyond statehood. He was one of the founders of the New Progressive Party. He served in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives from 1932 to 1940, where he became the youngest Speaker and later was elected to the Senate.

We remember Mr. Mendez here today, and name this post office on behalf of him at the request of our Delegate from Puerto Rico, LUIS FORTUNO, who unfortunately could not be here today, but who in fact found this to be the most appropriate person to name the post office after because of his long years of service to the territory of Puerto Rico and to the aspirations of the Puerto Rican people.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.