The Federal Government is Open. (Mostly)

I know we’re all thrilled that the federal government is now longer partially shut down, and that there are positive, hopeful signs than it might not shut down again on February 15. But there’s one office that’s not functioning, and might as well be closed.

Newly-elected U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA) has admitted in writing to a constituent that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. A constituent named “Michael” (no relation) apparently wrote a letter to the congresswoman. On January 23, Rep. McBath sent a response saying, in part, “We thank for your patience as we develop our mail system to send substantive responses.” The full letter was obtained by Insider Advantage and can be read here.

The letter closes with “For immediate assistance with federal agencies or with an ongoing case, please contact the Atlanta office of Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson…” and gives a phone number. Protip for Rep. McBath: when admitting to “non-substantive” incompetence, it’s best not to put it in writing, and referring your constituents to the hardest-working Senator in Georgia is just bad form.

Republicans have taken note. NRCC spokesperson Camille Gallo said “It looks like no one told Lucy McBath that her bosses are the people of Georgia. McBath should stop kissing up to radical Democrat leaders and actually do her job.”  Well, she seems to think her job is fundraising and proposing anti-gun legislation, so maybe she should just keep doing nothing.

According to Insider Advantage, “McBath’s office refuses to comment on why some experienced staffers were not retained after she won the election, or why her present staffers are incapable of handling letters and coordinating with various federal agencies.”

There are lots of hard-working, experienced congressional staffers in Washington and Georgia who could help Rep. McBath set up a functioning and responsive office. Maybe she should call Johnny Isakson and ask for some help.

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Benevolus
Benevolus

Jeezus, we just culled out trolls from the comment section, now we gotta put up with them from the FPP’s.

3 weeks on the job. And she got a letter out. And reached across the aisle to help a constituent (presumably) get the info they need.

Didn’t ed get timed out for writing less lame stuff than this?

TheDeepDark
TheDeepDark

She got a letter out that did nothing but pass the buck… I could only imagine the skewering Handel would have gotten if constituents received the same message a day after she was sworn in. While she has been sworn in for three weeks she had months to plan. No excuse.

Ed got timed out because he was given information related to the post before it was published that contradicted information in the story.

Benevolus
Benevolus

It’s still lame.

TheDeepDark
TheDeepDark

As are most things in politics…

bethebalance
bethebalance

What’s the over/under on getting a response from any given Rep or Senator? I’ve heard lots of complaints about non-responsiveness, and read some posted here. But in this case, a non-response would at least avoid the political backlash. But more importantly, may the substantive response happen quickly.

xdog
xdog

Maybe she got distracted watching gop leadership delay naming reps to the Intelligence Committee.

Gregs
Gregs

I wrote Perdue, Isackson and Woodall several times in the run up to the vote to open the government. I never got any reply from Isackson. I heard from Perdue with what amounted to a campaign ad that in no way addressed my demand that he fulfill his responsibility to properly fund the government.. Woodall wrote a more tailored response to my request that he vote to open the government even though he voted to support keeping the government closed.

I frequently make my voice heard to politicians at all levels and have found varying degrees of responsiveness.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Totally agree. Although I usually get a thoughtful and relevant response from Isakson even if I disagree with him on an issue. Perdue, same irrelevant response to everything, unless of course your request has 6 zeros or more in it. I’ve always wondered how some officials, or their staff, manage to craft on topic replies while others completely ignore the subject of my correspondence?

Benevolus
Benevolus

Yeah, a recent response from Sen. Perdue included the line “Rest assured that your message is being reviewed by the appropriate member on my team.”

That makes me feel much better.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Update!
I got a follow up message from Sen. David Perdue. This one says (in part) ” I am supportive of President Trump’s efforts and request for additional funding to secure the border…. Whether it is a physical barrier on certain stretches of the border or funding for more manpower and technology, it is Congress’ job to protect our nation and its citizens.”

Hmmm…

Gregs
Gregs

I just got the same email. He’s embracing Trump, not moving to the middle. He owns all things Trump!

Benevolus
Benevolus

No, I think he is bailing on “a wall”. Sounds like he’s ready to negotiate.

Our eloquent Fascist-In_Chief begs to differ: “Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!” he tweeted.

Gregs
Gregs

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts concerning the recent partial government shutdown and border security funding. I always appreciate the opportunity to hear from my fellow Georgians. On Friday, January 25th, President Trump announced that a deal had been struck between Senate and House leadership to reopen the outstanding government departments and agencies until February 15th. After the announcement, the Senate and House passed H.J. Res 28, and the President quickly signed it. This continuing resolution does not include funding for border security, but a bipartisan conference committee was created to negotiate border security funding as part of… Read more »

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

*radical Democratic leaders

She’s been there less than a month and has no prior experience in elective office. I know Republicans are desperate to dump on the lady that unseated Karen Handel, but I think the attack would be much much more credible if this was still happening in, let’s say, March.

And if Mike’s history here is any indication, there is zero chance he’d ever “skewer” Karen Handel.

TheDeepDark
TheDeepDark

Why would Mike have to do it? The AJC would have it top of the fold for days straight…

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

Fair point. McBath’s “mistake” is providing a reason for the lack of responsiveness. At 17, I spent an entire summer interning in a district office. My job included reading/listening to letters, emails, voicemails; determining which “issue” they dealt with; and plugging them into a database so someone in DC could send out whatever pre-written response they had to that particular issue. When I spent a summer in DC a year later, I got to be the guy hitting send on the pre-written response. While LAs and LDs kept track of how much correspondence was coming – and what the breakdown… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

Probably exactly on point that she was just trying to be helpful while they figure out the processes. So, is turning naïve rookie goodwill into a political jab just politics being politics, or is it a symptom of larger bipartisan dysfunction? Hint: It’s the latter. If it wasn’t, then instead of just complaining, there would be appurtenant helpfulness or notes of encouragement. And maybe Isaakson has been OK with an assist, which would be encouraging.
But if there was dysfunction in her district office in April, I would feel differently.

Benevolus
Benevolus

It’s also an argument as to why term limits are a bad idea. Can you imagine something like 1/3 of Congress being newbies every term? Chaos! The veteran lobbyists would be running things.

Mr. Bear
Mr. Bear

In a way, what is old is now new again. It’s been a while, but when my area was earlier part of the 4th Congressional District, letters to Cynthia McKinney’s office did not even merit a response letter.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Mine to Sen. Perdue didn’t get a reply the first 3 years he was in office. Now they are at about 3 months. Rep Carter is at 3 weeks, unless you agree with him, then it can be 10 days.

chefdavid
chefdavid

In otherwords, “I can’t do nothing fer you, please contact a republican for assistance.”

bethebalance
bethebalance

Or “Closed for Renovations; Please visit our sister store down the hall.”

Benevolus
Benevolus

“… but not, I repeat not, David Perdue. “

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

I write my rep and senators all the time and always get a form letter in response. This just looks like she’s apologizing for not providing an issue specific form response and maybe not yet having in place an automated routing process. Seems like a kind of pointless dig.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I think Hassinger wrote something other than a pointless dig once, but I can’t remember what it was.