Phone calls flood the offices of Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

Posted at 10:32 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 01:20:25-05

The Boise offices of Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are getting swamped by constituents wanting them to know how they feel.

"Some folks are reading from a script, and some folks are saying, 'Hey, I'm concerned about my family and kids.' So we're getting a lot of phone calls, mostly phone calls," said Lindsay Nothern, Senator Crapo's Communications Director. 

Nothern says most people are calling in to share their disapproval of President Trump's pick for Secretary of Education -- Betsy DeVos. DeVos still needs Senate confirmation, and, right now, it is looking like a close vote. Two Republican senators from other states have already announced they will vote against her. For now, staffers for both Senator Risch and Senator Crapo are not giving any hints on how their bosses will vote.

"He kind of wants to hear from Idahoans, hear from colleagues, and do our own investigation," said Northern.

Voters' voices are not just coming in over the phone. At Senator Risch's office in Boise, a sign reads: "Due to security concerns, all constituents must make an appointment to meet with someone at the office of Senator Risch." The Senator's Chief of Staff says the sign went up after 30 to 40 protestors showed up demanding a meeting.

"It's very disruptive to the people their trying to help other constituents. It's not that we want to cut off debate, but all we're asking is that people respect others peoples' rights," explained John Sandy, Senator Risch's Chief of Staff.

Staffers say the senators do get a tally of all the phone calls made every morning, and they have also received calls supporting the work they have been doing.