December 18, 2019

Van Hollen Secures Language to Protect Alzheimer’s Stamp in Year-End Funding Agreement

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced the inclusion of his language to protect the Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp within the final FY 2020 appropriations package, which will be voted on this week. The stamp raises funds for Alzheimer’s research and has been in circulation since 2017, but despite its success, the USPS stopped selling it in November. In an effort to extend the sale of the stamp, Senator Van Hollen introduced an amendment within the Appropriations Committee directing USPS to continue to sell the stamp as long as copies remain. The Senator’s amendment passed the Committee and – at his urging – has been included in the year-end funding agreement. On the House side, a similar provision was authored and included by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings. The appropriations package has already passed the House of Representatives and is expected to be voted on in the Senate tomorrow before proceeding to the President’s desk. Senator Van Hollen has long been a proponent of the Alzheimer’s stamp, an issue originally brought to his attention by Frederick County-resident and advocate Kathy Siggins and fellow advocate Lynda Everman.


“Alzheimer’s has impacted countless families in Maryland and across our country. That’s why I’ve fought to increase investment in critical research on this disease,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Thanks to the work of Kathy and many other advocates, the Alzheimer’s semi-postal stamp has already raised significant funds towards these efforts, and I’m pleased that we were able to protect the stamp in the year-end funding agreement. Whether it’s sending holiday packages or mailing a letter to a friend, every dollar we put towards research can help make a difference. I will keep fighting to maintain the stamp’s availability for years to come.”


Maryland advocate Kathy Siggins said, “Lynda Everman and I are extremely grateful to Senator Chris Van Hollen and congressional leaders for their tireless efforts to keep the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp available for purchase so that all Americans can continue to contribute directly to Alzheimer’s research at NIH simply by buying this powerful little stamp.  Thank you!”


The USPS cut-off date for selling the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp was November 30, 2019. Per USPS protocol, after that date, the remaining stamps are inventoried and then destroyed. Senators Markey, Capito, Van Hollen, and Collins sent a letter to the USPS on November 7, 2019 urging them not to destroy the remaining stamps until Congress has a chance to clarify its intentions for the stamp in the FY2020 appropriations legislation. In response to the Senators’ letter, USPS is currently preserving the inventory. Senator Van Hollen has been a proponent of the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp since 2005 through his support of legislation calling on the USPS to issue this stamp and by joining his colleagues to introduce legislation to keep the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp available for an additional six years.