How to Effectively Contact the Senate and the President to Pressure Elected Representatives at a Critical Time

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez: The Gaddi Vasquez Nomination to Peace Corps Director: The Status of the Gaddi Vasquez Nomination before Congress Reconvenes: What can RPCVs do to oppose the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez?: How to Effectively Contact the Senate and the President to Pressure Elected Representatives at a Critical Time

By Colin Gallagher on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 10:39 pm: Edit Post

Recently, George W. Bush strategically used the absence of Senators to force through the nomination of Otto Reich for Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. It is critical that we call both the office of the President and our respective Senators to convey our opposition to this tactic and to reiterate that we do not want Senators to pass up on the opportunity to keep Gaddi Vasquez out of a post that he did not deserve to be nominated for.

CALL the White House directly at:
SWITCHBOARD: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD Phone Numbers (for the Hearing Impaired Only) 202-456-6213 / Comment Line: 202-395-0805

Then CALL your Senator(s). Your Senators' phone numbers can be found via the following link:

If you get a recorded message indicating that the Senator's office has been temporarily vacated due to anthrax scares, call one of the other office number(s) mentioned in the message, so that your message will be promptly heard by staff.

Below is included a portion of the Jan. 13 transcript of "Meet the Press." In it, Senator Biden states that Senators kept out of the loop on the Reich nomination will "retaliate with regard to the rest of his (Bush's) nominations." There are some really riled-up Senators out there -- now is an opportune time to give them the public support they need to oppose George W. Bush. Give the White House and your Senators a call now!

Quoted from "Meet the Press" at

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to a couple of issues back home here, Senator. The Senate is in recess. President Bush has appointed Otto Reich as assistant secretary of State for Latin America. He will not have to go through the formal confirmation process because you’re all away. What’s your reaction?

SEN. BIDEN: Real disappointment, Tim. I’ve met extensively with the administration, and even the president, on this. I pointed out to the president there are four senior Republicans who are hard-set against this nominee. And that there are a number of Democrats who have much, much more concern about Reich than I do, and I said, “We can work this out. Otto Reich, if you want to name him ambassador anywhere or if you want to give him another position, we can get that done. But, Mr. President, this is not a wise thing to do with all the cooperation you’re getting from the Senate and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—nothing you’ve asked for we’ve not given you,” and—but I suspect there’s been considerable pressure inside from the right to go ahead and do this. And I think it was a very bad political move on the president’s part, and I really regretted it having happened. We’re going to have to now manage the fallout from this, and this was not a, respectfully speaking, smart thing to do, in my view.

MR. RUSSERT: Will it create a real strain on relations between the president and the Senate?

SEN. BIDEN: There are more than—about a handful of senators who came to me prior to us going out and said, “Communicate to the president that if he does this, we will retaliate with regard to the rest of his nominations.” I hope that doesn’t happen, Tim. I told—the administration fully understood this. The State Department fully understood this. And I can’t believe the State Department didn’t understand the potential political gravity of doing this, but we’ll see, Tim. I mean, maybe—we’ll see. I don’t know.

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