What They Say

You learn a lot of things when you hear from TPM Readers talking to the offices of their congressional representatives. One thing is straightforward answers to constituent questions: I oppose the filibuster; I support the filibuster. But just as interesting in some ways is the culture of different offices. Some are very solicitous of constituent feedback and questions — some even perhaps overeager to tell constituents’ what they want to hear. But others take a very different approach. So for instance, when TPM Reader DM contacted Robert Menendez’s office, a staffer simply told her they didn’t want to answer the question. Well, okay. Meanwhile a staffer in Angus King’s office walked TPM Reader PL through King’s conflicted feelings and thoughts about the filibuster.

At the same time you have some offices that are very straightforward with answers and others that are reluctant to be specific, an understandable response.

When you call your senators and representatives, it’s entirely possible that the person you get on the phone either doesn’t know the answer or isn’t authorized to answer. But they should always be ready to take your name and information and promptly follow up with an answer. They 100% owe you a clear response, even if it may take a day or two to get you the answer.

Another thing you learn is how little this issue is even on the radar of many offices. Abortion rights is hardly an obscure issue. And in fairness most offices are pretty happy to tell you that their Democratic senator supports the WHPA, the acronym for the Roe-protecting bill the Senate recently voted on. After all, 49 of the 50 Democratic senators voted in favor of it. But given that these votes are moot without a change in filibuster rules, that’s a pretty front-and-center issue as well. But in many cases it doesn’t seem to be on the radar.

What have you heard? Here’s our running tally so far.

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