The Main Stream

Jul 26, 2011 7:06 PM

Local Congressional offices "called" on debt

TUCSON - When President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Monday night, he urged people to call their Congressmen about the stalled debt talks. On Tuesday, News4 visited the Tucson offices of Southern Arizona's Congressional delegation to find out if people called.

Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva's Tucson office says it got so many emails, its site shut down. Grijalva's office also got phone calls and demonstrators.

At noon, Tuesday members of the organization MoveOn.org rallied outside Grijalva's office to thank him for fighting to preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Demonstrator Richard Fridena says, "I'm retired. I'm on a fixed income and Raul Grijalva seems to be one of the few people that's standing up for us."

Fridena says his t-shirt describes how he feels about the stalled debt talks. It says "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Fridena says, "On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm about an 8. I mean it's pretty infuriating."

Inside Grijalva's office, District Director Ruben Reyes says phone calls are up.

Reyes says, "The last tally, which was about an hour and a half ago, was 40 calls to 1. It has been overwhelmingly in support for the Congressman's stances on raising the debt ceiling, protecting Social Security, protecting Medicare and protecting those programs for our elderly."

Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is not in Congress. She's in rehabilitation recovering from her January 8 shooting. Still, her staff says constituents are calling her office from both sides. But, they say, the Democrats' position is winning.

Republican Senator John McCain's office says, "While we're hearing from all sides of the issue, the majority are calling to support Speaker Boehner's plan."

Republican Senator Jon Kyl's office says not nearly as many people have called in about the debt talks as called about health care and immigration reform.

Kyl's office says its callers "are running about 60/40. The majority oppose an agreement that raises taxes, like the President has called for, and that does not cut federal spending significantly."

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