Special to SEGAZINE
U.S. lawmakers have been deluged by calls from constituents in the past few weeks, urging them to help avert a shutdown or stand firm against the health-care law. Todays callers were likely to reach voice mail instead of a worker.
The political impasse over the 2010 Affordable Care Act that led to the furlough of 800,000 federal employees and the closure of offices and parks also idled services and staff in Congress. Food service and trash pickup was sparse in the Capitol as lawmakers sought a way out of the stalemate.
“We’ve got nowhere to eat and a lot of the entrances are closed,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican. By early afternoon, he had a staff of four out of 30, with phone calls to his office’s main line answered by voice mail.