Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) legislative correspondent sent a mass email Tuesday asking how to stop the office’s D.C. phoneline from sending constituents automatically to voicemail, which has been happening for a “year and a half.”
Pressley’s staff member, Aneeb Sheikh, sent the email to the “Tour Coordinators” listserv, used by both political parties for coordinating capitol tours. A 2020 Boston College graduate and 2016 Dubai College graduate, Sheikh has worked for Pressley since November 2020. He also worked with another member of the so-called “Squad” when he interned in the summer of 2019 for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
A legislative correspondent’s primary role is to serve constituents, including by organizing meetings, responding to letters, and answering phone calls.
Sheikh’s email stated:
We have had our DC phone line going to voicemail for the past year and a half but are looking to switch to live phone calls. Anyone here know how to make the desk phones answer live phone calls again? Would greatly appreciate your help. [Emphasis added]
— Mike Martin (@MikeMartin_2) October 28, 2021
A Pressley spokesperson told Breitbart News in an emailed statement, “Both our Boston and DC offices continue to respond to constituents calls and emails as we always have. Like many Congressional offices during the pandemic, we have been operating under a call-back system with staff regularly following up daily on voicemails to keep our staff safe and support remote and hybrid work.”
Other offices never sent constituents to voicemail, a Capitol Hill source told Breitbart News. Even when most congressional staffers worked from home, calls were forwarded to computers so staff could still answer normally.
Twitter users reacted in shock to the Sheikh’s email.
“Yikes. I guess this explains why I got the voicemail when I called a couple times earlier this year,” Fox News politics editor Cam Cawthorne said.
Yikes. I guess this explains why I got the voicemail when I called a couple times earlier this year. https://t.co/IF4mIw4BZF
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) October 28, 2021
Republican commentator Matt Whitlock wrote, “Constituent services are your ONE JOB. But they haven’t answered the phone in 18 MONTHS?!”