Have a Republican Representative? Get on the phone and ask him or her to stop being a child about the ‘fiscal cliff’. Lord knows we could use the revenue, but real people will get hurt when unemployment benefits expire and important agencies face arbitrary cuts. Unemployment benefits in particular have a huge stimulatory effect even after you set aside arguments that involve having some basic f*cking humanity. (a) Every dollar gets spent right away, in America, and (b) desperate people whose tether has been cut off cost the government a lot of money. Scheduled cuts to the NIH budget will cause some non-trivial problems for my career. Odds are pretty good that the sequestration bill has some real pain for your family buried in it as well.
Find your Congressperson here.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Guide for first timers below the jump.
(1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read and in fact has the most impact of all, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .
(2) Remember, this person works for you. You pay his or her salary and you voted for them. You’re the boss here, or at least one of them, and it’s they who should worry about what you think of them.
(3) Identify your name and
the town or neighborhood where you live zip code. If you are not a constituent don’t bother. Since you guys never listen to me, at least google a zip code in the appropriate district before you call.
(4) State the issue.
This is easy: pass the Senate bill or the party gets it. We can (and certainly will) fix the shortcomings later. Talking points above.
(5) How strongly do you feel? Don’t apologize about feeling passionate or pissed off. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. However, keep in mind that teabaggers threaten the apocalypse over everything. Interns get jaded pretty fast when call volume is high. Polite but firm is the best way to go.