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U.S. National Debt:

Open Lines Of Communication

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

As I represent the interests of Idahoans in the U.S. Senate, the most indispensible tool is a sense of what is on your minds.  The time you take to keep me up to speed on your interests and opinions about the issues shaping our nation is deeply beneficial.  Last year, I received more than 83,000 pieces of correspondence from Idahoans.  I thank you for this insight, and I welcome your ongoing input as the Senate's work continues.              

No matter the form in which you choose to communicate with me, each thought and idea is helpful and respected.  On average, I received 6,900 letters a month last year, or just fewer than 1,600 a week, or 227 letters per day.  This includes emails, faxes, postcards and phone calls.  Email is a growing form of providing input, as 80 percent of the correspondence I received was through email.  Faxes made up 13 percent of the correspondence.  Seven percent was through phone calls, and 1 percent was traditional letters.  The top issues constituents inquired or shared their opinions about were judiciary, national security, congressional and agriculture related. 

To help make this interaction timely and seamless, I strive to make my website( informative, accessible and useful for constituents who go there looking for answers or to find ways to share their thoughts.  The website offers many opportunities to follow what goes on in Washington, plan a visit, learn more about the issues and watch videos of Congress at work.  The website's email system provides the most expedited way to get information to me.  This web page also features the top five issues of concern from Idahoans and my response on each from the previous week.  Some of the other features you will find on the website include posted audio of iTownHall meetings and teleconferences with Idaho reporters, recent correspondence on top issues, links to legislation and other tools and resources to assist Idahoans who need help with federal agencies. 

Making this website a useful resource is a priority, and I hope that all Idahoans will visit the site often.  The website also includes information about accessing my Facebook and YouTube pages to learn more about efforts in the Senate.  Additionally, the site includes information about contactingme via email and through my offices. 

The messages you send me help to shape my approach on a number of important matters, and I encourage you to keep sending them my way.  Our nation faces ongoing challenges, including decreasing our deficit and debt and shaping our country into one that better supports job growth through creating a more competitive tax code and controlling federal regulation.  As we all know, these are not minor challenges.  I am grateful for your involvement over the past year as active participants in the decisions I make here in Congress.  Please continue to keep me informed of your views.

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