No matter which congressional representative I called…the phone just rang and rang. Until of course– voicemail.
Senator Saxby Chambliss’ voicemail said, “Due to the government shutdown, my office is performing only essential legislative operations with very minimal staff. Leave a message, they will check messages periodically.”
We called. Left a message. Nothing. Our next call was to Georgia’s other Senator Johnny Isakson. But, still, no luck. His voicemail said, “Hello, this is senator Johnny Isakson. Thank you very much for your call. Unfortunately my staff is not able to handle your call because the federal government has currently shut down.”
Ninth district congressman Doug Collins took a dramatically different tact. We spoke with him yesterday. He said he was sitting at his assistant’s desk, answering phone calls himself! That’s right, he answered his OWN phones. Today, he apparently got some relief. But that relief had no time to speak.
I DID get a response via email from a member of Congressman Paul Broun’s staff Jane Burrell. She confirmed what we’d heard– the phones are ringing off the hook.
Charles Bullock, a UGA Political Science professor, said, “They may be getting more traffic than typically they would get. And they’re probably not doing really well on it.”
But– good customer service may not matter. Bullock said since Georgia is a Red State, your elected representatives aren’t worried about holding onto to their seats. He said, “I would be surprised if there are going to be any electoral consequences at least for members of Georgia.”
Bullock has some advice.. not for the people you put in office…but for you: “For the constituents, I’m afraid they’re just going to have to be patient.”
And that’s just what we will have to be–patient. Until congress can reach an agreement.
Posted by: Catherine Patterson
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