Same state; same office – but vastly different ways in handling their duties.
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are both in support of the decision Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made in rejecting the House Republican bill to defund what has become known as Obamacare even though the bill would still provide funding for all other government functions. As a result of Sen. Reid’s failure to fund all aspects of government except for Obamacare, a shutdown of the federal government ensued on October 1, 2013. Though each of Oregon’s Senators are in agreement in rejecting the Republican bill, each Senator handled their affairs with the public very differently.
When calling Sen. Merkley’s office, one was greeted with a very professional staff member who was more than willing to hear from a constituent, even if the caller was expressing their displeasure with the Senator’s stand. As of this writing, Merkley’s office expressed that Sen. Merkley wants the shutdown to end and will support a ‘clean’ bill. A ‘clean’ bill is defined as everything in government being funded including what has become known as Obamacare. In other words, the bill is viewed as ‘unclean’ if it funds everything EXCEPT Obamacare, which was the bill presented by the House Republicans prior Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rejection of the bill, thereby, shutting down the federal government.
Even when disagreeing with the position of a Senator, the fact that someone answered the phone (and listened patiently, was helpful, personable and performed with utmost professionalism at a time when people are quite upset with the situation) at Sen. Merkley’s office was most welcome and said much about the commitment to constituents.
Contrast that experience with a call to Sen. Ron Wyden’s office.
When contacting the Senator’s office by phone, one can expect to get a recorded message informing them no one is in the office due to the shutdown.
It appears the longer one is in office, the more estranged one becomes from those they are to represent.
Perhaps what can be gathered from this is the public can be thankful that for now, they are not entirely dependent upon politicians being at work in order to make sure their lives or various programs run efficiently (as if that happens under government powers anyway). The day Americans do reach such dependency will be a day of true mourning in America.
For both Senators, it would be wise to be pro-active in respecting the will of the people, an overwhelming majority of Americans involving every political stripe and walk of life, who have soundly rejected Obamacare. Those voices were ignored during the horrendous proceedings and votes four years ago, and once again, the will of the people is being submerged in order for this president and his leader in the Senate to have it THEIR way.