Contacting legislators easier than ever

It seems like now more than ever, people are  unsatisfied with the government.  President Trump’s approval ratings have dipped into historic lows, and despite the GOP controlling both the House and Senate, Republican citizens’ approval of Congress is at a mere 16 percent.

Hating the government is undoubtedly popular, with some of the most popular complaints being that congresspeople are out of touch, that their decisions aren’t in agreement with the public’s opinions and that ordinary people don’t have enough influence to affect change.

What these statements rarely acknowledge, however, is that everyone in possession of a phone and Internet access has a direct line of communication with the very representatives they so zealously trash talk.

Iowa’s Representatives are David Loebsack (D), Steve King (R) and Rod Blum (R), and its Senators are Chuck Grassley (R) and Joni Ernst (R).  Each one of these congresspeople has a contact form on their website, as well as a phone number.

Too often people feel powerless to impact the actions of those representing them. If the American people refuse to contact their congresspeople, they are not being active in improving their government.  Thus, the government will not represent them.  This is why it is crucial that people contact their congresspeople:  when they don’t, the government cannot work in their favor, and they will be forever disappointed in it.

One of the most recent examples of this is the GOP’s health care bill (the American Health Care Act, or Better Care Reconciliation Act). Republicans introduced the bill, and attempted to rush it through Congress before the CBO could analyze it. However, in no small part due to the public’s resistance to the bill, each version of it failed in either the House or the Senate.

Following each vote, congresspeople noted the many phone calls they had received from upset constituents. Some said that public opinion impacted their vote. This shows that people, if they so choose, can have a voice in government. They just have to care enough to call their representatives.

Is there a political issue about which you feel passionately? Does it matter to you that millions could lose their health care in a vote this month, or that our president is acting irresponsibly in his dealings with North Korea, or that the majority of Iowa’s congresspeople have yet to cosponsor any bills limiting the power of President Trump?

Consider contacting Ernst and Grassley about the health care bill before they vote this week, or Blum and King about their continuing support of each absurd action of President Trump.  Fewer than 35 percent of Americans approve of the president. If you belong to the other 65 percent, or if there’s something specific Trump has done that you absolutely abhor, call your representatives about condemning him, or make it known that you support legislation that calls him out.

For example, H.R.2610, called the TRUMPED (Taxpayers Require Urgent Mandatory Protection from Egregious Debt) Act, requires reimbursement from a public figure when their travel results in abnormally large costs. A similar bill is H.R.2414, called the SWAMP (Stop Waste And Misuse by the President) Act, aims to limit how much money is spent on Trump’s travel. These pieces of legislation come as a response to the absurdly large amount of money that has been spent on President Trump’s frequent vacations to Mar-a-Lago.

There is also the No TRUMP (No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency) Act, which is centered on stopping the government from giving money to his hotels, as well as the BRIBE (Battling Russian Intelligence Baiting Efforts) Act, which asks for the collection of intelligence regarding what foreign powers are trying to influence Trump.

Our representatives support none of these pieces of legislation.

As young people we must become politically active. What is mere proposed legislation now is law in the future, and it will be impacting us for decades. It is important for us to stay on top of politics so that we can have our voices heard in government. There exists a plethora of political issues, from abortion to the national debt, and behind those issues is legislation, which your congresspeople are voting on daily.

If a political issue matters to you, call your congresspeople and let them know it.

If you are capable of Googling cat memes, you are capable of emailing the people who make the political decisions determining your destiny.  #DealWithIt.

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