Call current congressperson or newly elected one?
November 15, 2016 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I want to call my congressperson to object to an announced hire by the Present-elect. Do I try to contact the current rep who chose not to run this cycle or the one who will replace him Jan 3rd? Both are Rs.
posted by coffee and minarets to Law & Government (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The new one. The old one does not GAF.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

New one. Set the stage for him that his constituents are watching and will hold him accountable.
posted by Etrigan at 1:02 PM on November 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Both. While the old one doesn't GAF, if he chose not to run for election, he may be done with politics, and his DGAF-ness may be exploitable on your side - ie, nothing left to lose, wants to go out on a moral high note. New one, obviously, is more accountable to his constituents.
posted by corb at 1:05 PM on November 15, 2016 [17 favorites]

Hell, call 'em both. Why not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

If, in addition to expressing your objection, you are going to ask for your congressperson to do something, note that House reps technically have no role in the appointment process. Only your senators will have to give advice and consent, and even then only to certain appointments. Positions like Chief of Staff can't be officially stopped by anyone in Congress, although if you have reason to believe your reps have informal sway with Trump or the Republican establishment, that could be helpful. If you're going for informal pressure or public denouncement, then go for both old and new representatives. If you're actually hoping for a vote against someone, you need to go to your senators who will be in office in January.

Sorry if that's all obvious to you -- I wasn't sure from your post, and want to make sure you ask for something you can actually get.
posted by alligatorpear at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


The current one will be able to voice concerns now, which is just as relevant as the next congress member when it comes to positions that are not confirmed by the senate.

The next congressperson, if a senator, will take office on January 3rd, and hearings to confirm presidential appointments tend to begin before the inauguration, so the sooner the better.
posted by mikeh at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Depending on the particular hire, you'd probably get further calling your senator than your representative. The Senate has confirmation power, and the House does not. But if you're talking about Steve Bannon, it's not a position that requires confirmation, and there's nothing Congress can really do to stop it.

Also note that it may be rather difficult to contact the new person before he is sworn in in January. He won't have an official House website until then, so you might only have contact information for the campaign, which is in the process of shutting down. It's likely that if you contact the campaign office, your request will be lost.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:26 PM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Both. And both your senators. The more all of them hear from concerned constituents, the better. Call them if you can. Retired or retiring legislators may be more willing to speak out right now and their voices are useful.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:40 AM on November 16, 2016

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