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Postal Service Accepts Requests from Waters and Cummings to Issue New Alzheimer’s Awareness Stamp

October 2, 2017
Press Release

Postal Service Accepts Requests from Waters and Cummings to Issue New Alzheimer’s Awareness Stamp

Stamp Will Raise Funds for Research and Treatment of Disease

Washington, D.C.—Today, in response to requests from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Postal Service announced that it is issuing a new stamp to promote Alzheimer’s awareness and support research on the disease.

“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and there is no effective treatment, no means of prevention, and no method for slowing its progression,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “I congratulate the Postal Service for issuing a semipostal stamp to raise funds for this tragic disease.”

“Millions of American families have been and will be affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” Ranking Member Cummings said.  “This stamp will help raise funds to support critical research on the causes and treatments for this debilitating disease.  I applaud the Postal Service for heeding our call, and I thank Dan Gasby and his wife, B Smith, for working so tirelessly to help make this stamp a reality and to advance the research efforts so critical to the millions of American families who live with the agony of this disease.”

The price of the new Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp will be 60 cents, about 10 cents more than a normal first class stamp, and proceeds will go to the Department of Health and Human Services to support research and treatment for the disease.

Congresswoman Waters reintroduced the Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp Act (H.R. 2973) on June 21, 2017, to require the Postal Service to issue a semipostal stamp promoting Alzheimer’s awareness and research.  The bill is supported by more than 100 Members of Congress from both political parties.

Congress gave the Postal Service discretionary authority to issue semipostal stamps at higher prices to allow the public to donate to worthwhile causes, but the Postal Service issued regulations in 2002 that effectively prohibited the issuance of new stamps while the Breast Cancer Research stamp was sold.  Sales of that stamp have raised millions of dollars for breast cancer research.

On July 1, 2016, Congresswoman Waters wrote a letter urging the Postal Service to issue an Alzheimer’s stamp as the first stamp under its discretionary authority.  This letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 41 Members under the leadership of Rep. Waters; Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease; and Task Force Member John Garamendi (D-CA).

On February 20, 2015, Ranking Member Cummings wrote a letter along with then-Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) urging the Postal Service to use its existing statutory authority to issue an Alzheimer’s stamp, while continuing to offer the Breast Cancer Research stamp.

The Alzheimer’s stamp is the first stamp issued under the Postal Service’s new discretionary program.