[Congressional Record Volume 154, Number 112 (Wednesday, July 9, 2008)]
[House]
[Pages H6311-H6312]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                KENNETH JAMES GRAY POST OFFICE BUILDING

  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 6061) to designate the facility of the United 
States Postal Service located at 219 East Main Street in West 
Frankfort, Illinois, as the ``Kenneth James Gray Post Office 
Building''.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6061

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. KENNETH JAMES GRAY POST OFFICE BUILDING.

       (a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal 
     Service located at 219 East Main Street in West Frankfort, 
     Illinois, shall be known and designated as the ``Kenneth 
     James Gray Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be 
     a reference to the ``Kenneth James Gray Post Office 
     Building''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Davis) and the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.


                             General Leave

  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their 
remarks.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield such 
time as he might consume to my colleague from the State of Illinois and 
the author of this legislation, Representative Costello.
  Mr. COSTELLO. I thank my friend from Illinois, Chairman Davis.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6061, legislation 
designating a post office building in West Frankfort, Illinois, as the 
``Kenneth James Gray Post Office Building.''
  I would like to thank Chairman Waxman and Chairman Davis for working

[[Page H6312]]

with me on this legislation and for bringing the legislation to the 
floor today.
  Congressman Gray was born and raised in West Frankfort, Illinois. He 
was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1954, serving 
through 1974. In 1984, Ken ran again and was elected to the House and 
served two more terms.
  When I was elected to the House of Representatives in 1988, Kenny 
Gray was very helpful to me. We worked together and fought to improve 
housing, education, and to bring jobs to southern Illinois. We, of 
course, continue that fight today with my colleagues in the Illinois 
delegation.
  Prior to his tenure in Congress, Congressman Gray earned three Bronze 
Stars for his service in World War II. He also owned a car dealership 
and operated an air service in Benton, Illinois.
  After retiring in 1988, Ken remained active in community affairs, 
serving on several boards and heading up many local projects to further 
economic growth in our region. Naming this post office after Kenny Gray 
will serve as a lasting reminder of his accomplishments in Southern 
Illinois.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in honoring our former 
colleague and friend by supporting this legislation.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to my 
distinguished colleague from the State of Illinois (Mr. Shimkus).
  (Mr. SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SHIMKUS. I thank my colleague from North Carolina for the time.
  I want to commend my colleague, Congressman Costello, for bringing 
this forward, and of course my colleague from Chicago, Chairman Davis, 
for helping get this bill on the floor.
  In Southern Illinois everyone knows Ken Gray. In this environment 
it's always hard to figure out with past Congresses, but he is admired 
and adored and lovingly called the ``Prince of Pork'' for a couple of 
reasons, probably a lot more than I even know since I'm a youngster to 
this institution, but for helping President Eisenhower pass the Federal 
highway transportation bill, which brought the interstate highway 
system, and then lobbying diligently to make sure that those routes 
came through Southern Illinois.
  And although Southern Illinois continues to struggle along the 
interstate routes that are part of my district and part of Congressman 
Costello's district where there are jobs and economic activity, they 
are around the hubs of the interstate highway system. So he does get 
great credit for that. Also, a major lake, Rend Lake, is there that 
provides water for much of the communities of Southern Illinois. And 
that was all part of his due diligence and his activity.
  I also like the story, being a veteran, of Ken Gray lying about his 
age, going into the war, and then serving honorably in World War II and 
being awarded three Bronze Stars for his service.
  He is quite the character. People who know him and have served with 
him can tell you some quite colorful stories. He has welcomed me in the 
institution as a colleague. I look to him for advice and counsel when I 
get into the deep part of Southern Illinois.
  I think this is a fitting tribute. I thank my colleague, Congressman 
Costello, for bringing it forward. I implore and ask my colleagues to 
support the naming of this post office.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I would reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Congressman Kenneth J. Gray, formerly an esteemed Member of the U.S. 
House of Representatives, has been a life long son of Illinois. Born in 
West Frankfort on November 14, 1924, Congressman Gray was a graduate of 
West Frankfort Community High School and owner of Gray Motors in West 
Frankfort. He served in the Second World War for two years until 
discharged in 1945 as a first sergeant and three bronze star recipient 
for his service.
  After returning from the war, Congressman Gray became active in his 
community and was one of the founders of the Walking Dog Foundation for 
the Blind and an active leader in the American Legion.
  In the same district where Mr. Gray served as the Commander of the 
American Legion, he was encouraged to run against the incumbent 
Congressman as many thought that the issues affecting the veterans of 
southern Illinois were being overlooked.
  While running for Congress for the first time in 1954, his campaign 
slogan was ``a fighting man for a fighting job,'' which he lived up to 
during the 11 Congressional terms he served the citizens of the 25th 
District of Illinois. He ran on the platform of change for the people 
in his District. Southern Illinois was suffering a period of high 
unemployment at the time Mr. Gray was running for Congress. After his 
election, he set about meeting the challenges of getting the 30,000 
unemployed people back to work.
  He was placed on the Public Works Committee at the beginning of his 
first term, where he was able to shed light on the plight of his 
constituents and worked to get projects directed to his District. 
Congressman Gray became known throughout his career as a man who, in 
his words, wouldn't roll down his sleeves until the job was done. To 
this day, he has not rolled down his sleeves and continues to get 
things done. You can see his footprints on such things as hospitals, 
schools, and federal buildings.
  Because of Congressman Gray's many accomplishments on behalf of the 
citizens of Southern Illinois as well as the entire country, it is very 
fitting that we would designate the naming of the West Frankfort Post 
Office after Congressman Gray. We wish Congressman Gray well during his 
illness and thank him for his life-long service to the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, obviously I rise in strong 
support of H.R. 6061, which designates the East Main Street post office 
facility in West Frankfort, Illinois, after one of our former 
colleagues and Member of Congress, Representative Kenneth James Gray.
  Representative Costello sponsored this measure to show appreciation 
and gratitude for the service former Representative Gray exhibited 
toward his constituents and the country.
  H.R. 6061 would dedicate the post office located in Representative 
Gray's former congressional district. I am pleased to join with 
Representatives Costello and Shimkus and other members of the 
delegation in urging passage of this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 6061.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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