Congress Turning To Social Media; Mail Use Declines

CBS Baltimore

The Frederick News-Post

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s U.S. congressional delegation spent more than $1.1 million sending official mail through the U.S. Postal Service, requiring only their signatures to reach constituents from 2010 through the first quarter of 2013, according to an analysis by The Frederick News-Post.

Called “franked mail,” the practice is a privilege about as old as the legislative body itself. It is used by Congress to send official mail, most often in the form of a mass mailing of 500 pieces or more, Franking Commission spokesman Steve Dutton said.

“The frank is basically like a stamp,” Dutton said. “It’s their way of being identified as sending it out.”

Since 2010, the House’s member offices and committees have spent more than $57.1 million through the first quarter of 2013 — which ended March 31 — on franked mail, according to a summary of expenditures compiled by…

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