By Sarah Wire Originally Appeared in The Los Angeles Times
The phone in Rep. Tom McClintock’s office rang seven times in 10 minutes Tuesday afternoon.
“This is Congressman McClintock’s office, how may I help you?” the receptionist said again and again, scribbling down each caller’s name, address and comment. “This call means a lot to us. I’ll express that to the congressman.”
Members of Congress have been inundated with phone calls and emails in the scant weeks since President Trump took office, with staff answering two to three times as many calls and emails as normal.
Some are organic outpourings from constituents concerned about the new administration. Others are inspired by the progressive groups that have formed as an outlet for angst about what the Republican-led Congress will do with a Republican White House.
McClintock (R-Elk Grove), who was escorted out of a town hall Saturday by police when the crowd got rowdy, said the calls are coming from constituents as well as people outside his district. He compared it to the flood of calls after the 2008 election — the last time the presidency changed hands.
“It’s the mirror opposite of 2009. When the Democrats were in charge, people opposed the administration, [there was a] huge uptick, and now it’s reversed: Republicans are in charge and [there is a] huge uptick in opponents of the administration,” McClintock said. “They really hate Donald Trump and they’re really mad about the election.”
Much of the increase has been directed toward the Senate, especially as it considers Trump’s Cabinet nominees.
Sen. Kamala Harris received more than 251,000 calls and emails since the inauguration, mostly asking her to vote against Trump’s Cabinet picks. She received more than 105,000 calls, emails and letters on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, most urging her to vote “no” on the nomination, which was approved only after a tie vote was broken by Vice President Mike Pence. Sen. Dianne Feinstein heard from 96,000 constituents on DeVos.
Issues: 115th Congress