Lawamkers forced to answer own phones, opening mail

Lawamkers forced to answer own phones, opening mail

[Ed. note: Oh, the humanity!]

Lawmakers with extra time on their hands since the government shut down have taken to performing menial tasks, from answering phones to opening constituent mail, as the funding impasse continues.

With most committee hearings canceled and offices operating with skeletal staffs, some members of Congress have even begun leading constituents on tours of the Capitol.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told The Hill she has given three tours so far.

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“Constituents come here, they’re expecting to have tours,” she said. “They can’t go to the Smithsonian. There’s a lot of things they can’t do, but we can still do our best to make sure they experience the Capitol.”

Speier was one of many lawmakers spotted leading groups throughout the Capitol complex.

Tour groups are allowed as long as there are less than 10 people and a lawmaker is present, according to shutdown guidelines posted by the House Administration Committee.

Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who both sit on the House Armed Services Committee, ran into Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday when they were giving a tour to Army and Marine captains.

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