WISCONSIN (WFRV) - While negotiations continue on Capitol Hill at a slow pace over the government shutdown, feedback from voters is pouring into our lawmakers district offices. In fact, immediate and steady, are words used by two area lawmakers to describe the volume of calls and e-mails coming into their district offices this week.
All this political bickering within the halls of Congress has really touched a nerve with the folks back at home. At the local district offices for U.S Senator Ron Johnson and 8th District Congressman Reid Ribble, staff for each Republican lawmaker, are getting both barrels from constituents.
"In terms of mix, it's pretty much a 50-50 split," said Sen. Johnson. "In terms of supporting shutdown; upset with shutdown; supporting Obamacare; not supporting Obamacare."
"People are weighing in," said Rep. Ribble. "I don't have an accurate count on the e-mails or phones calls but it is busier than normal."
Busy as in a voicemail system, filled to capacity, waiting for staffers to answer.
"The voicemail filled overnight and before we could clear it in the morning, a couple of people called in complaining they couldn't get in right away," said Sen. Johnson.
Steady, as in an e-mail inbox that keeps filling up.
"We've got people watching the e-mails instantly come in and then you are trying to respond to them as quickly as you can," said Rep. Ribble.
These lawmakers say it is not uncommon on a controversial issue. Add in the fact more outside groups are urging voters on both sides to reach out and let their opinions be known. In addition, when the closure of the federal government, boils down to a fight over the Affordable Care Act, people simply have a lot to say.
"We have people writing letters or calling saying stay the course," said Rep. Ribble. "Others saying 'open the government up, stop acting like children,"
"To me hearing and listening to what the voters of Wisconsin have to say - is extremely valuable," said Sen. Johnson.
Both lawmakers say they or staff, do read all the e-mails and listen to all the calls. They take each constituent contact seriously when weighing any decision.