Every congressional office should pivot to constituent service during COVID-19


  1. The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is 247 pages long and quite complex.
  2. The threat of coronavirus has led legislators in both the House of Representatives and Senate to bail back to their home districts and states.
  3. That it was Congress that enacted the CARES Act, which media frequently misidentify as the “Trump stimulus package.”

Altogether these facts argue for each member of Congress to direct his or her office’s energies more heavily toward constituent services. Immediately.

Not least because voters will struggle to understand just how the CARES Act can help them, and also will need help dealing with executive branch bureaucracies in charge of dispensing aid. (And there are and will be challenges.)

Then there’s the more mundane political truth: helping voters and claiming credit for government assistance is smart politics. The $2 trillion in CARES Act benefits were dispensed by Congress, and every legislator rightly can help voters remember that it was the legislature that is the source for the assistance.

And that objective will not be achieved by sitting back and letting the Administration claim credit, and by hoping folks can get the answers they need via surfing to SBA.gov and SSA.gov.

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