Time to Pick Up the Phone

| Thu Jan. 21, 2010 6:15 PM EST

A reader writes in about my plea to call your representative and ask them to vote for the Senate healthcare bill:

Unfortunately my congressman is a Republican. The closest Democrat to me is Glenn Nye and he voted against it the first time.

It might be helpful if you could direct your readers to where they can get the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of their state's  U.S. Representatives.

It's true: calling Republicans isn't a great use of your time. But if your representative is a Democrat, you should call. Don't email. That's a waste of energy. Pick up the phone and call. For a full list of congressional names and phone numbers, go to Congress.org. Type in your representative's name and it will pop up an information page that includes a phone contact. Don't know who your representative is? Enter your zip code and it will tell you.

Want to do more? You might try calling one of the folks on the list below. On the left are representatives who signed a pledge not to vote for any bill that doesn't contain a public option. They're probably opposed to passing the Senate bill as is, so it's worth calling to let them know that with the political landscape changed, it's time to rethink their position. On the right are Blue Dog Democrats. They should already be willing to vote for the Senate bill since it's a little more conservative than the House bill, but it's also got slightly softer anti-abortion language than the House bill. So if one of them is nearby, give them a call too.

Be polite. Be ready to sit on hold for a while. But we're going to spend the next 20 years working on universal healthcare in America, and by the time we're done what matters won't be precisely where we started, but that we started at all. It's time to start.

Public Option Blue Dogs
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Corrine Brown (FL-03)
Andre Carson (IN-07)
Judy Chu (CA-32)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Mike Capuano (MA-08)
John Conyers (MI-14)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Bill Delahunt (MA-10)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-25)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Bob Filner (CA-51)
Barney Frank (MA-14)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
Alcee Hastings (FL-23)
Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
Michael Honda (CA-15)
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)
Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Barbara Lee (CA-09)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Jim McGovern (MA-03)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jerry Nadler (NY-08)
Grace Napolitano (CA-38)
John Olver (MA-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-08)
Donald Payne (NJ-10)
Chellie Pingree (MN-01)
Laura Richardson (CA-37)
Lucille Roybal-Alard (CA-34)
Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
Jose Serrano (NY-16)
Albio Sires (NJ-13)
Jackie Speier (CA-12)
Pete Stark (CA-13)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Ed Towns (NY-10)
Nydia Valezquez (NY-12)
Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Diane Watson (CA-33)
Mel Watts (NC-12)
Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)
Jason Altmire (PA-4)
Mike Arcuri (NY-24)
Joe Baca (CA-43)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Robert Marion Berry (AR-1)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Dan Boren (OK-2)
Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
Allen Boyd (FL-2)
Bobby Bright (AL-2)
Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
Christopher Carney (PA-10)
Ben Chandler (KY-6)
Travis Childers (MS-1)
Jim Cooper (TN-5)
Jim Costa (CA-20)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3)
Lincoln Davis (TN-4)
Joe Donnelly (IN-2)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-8)
Bill Foster (IL-14)
Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8)
Bart Gordon (TN-6)
Jane Harman (CA-36)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL)
Baron Hill (IN-9)
Tim Holden (PA-17)
Frank Kratovil (MD-1)
Betsy Markey (CO-4)
Jim Marshall (GA-8)
Jim Matheson (UT-2)
Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
Charlie Melancon (LA-3)
Mike Michaud (ME-2)
Walt Minnick (ID-1)
Dennis Moore (KS-3)
Patrick Murphy (PA-8)
Scott Murphy (NY-20)
Glenn Nye (VA-2)
Collin Peterson (MN-7)
Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL)
Mike Ross (AR-4)
John Salazar (CO-3)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
Adam Schiff (CA-29)
Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
David Scott (GA-13)
Heath Shuler (NC-11)
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