A dozen West Valley residents paid a visit to the Glendale office of Rep. Trent Franks Monday to ask him to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling.
“It’s a matter of survival,” said Karen Daley of Surprise. “If we don’t raise the debt ceiling we’re in trouble. We had to come out here to try to do something.”
Shirley McAllister of Sun City led Monday morning’s effort, presenting a petition and explaining to District Chief of Staff Daniel Hay what she and her fellow constituents would like to see prioritized, including the protection of Social Security and Medicare and the end of Bush-era tax cuts.
“We came here to ask if Congressman Franks is willing to do what needs to be done to protect this country,” she said.
McAllister asked Hay if Franks is willing to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling.
“No, he is not,” Hay said. “Philosophically, he just disagrees with you. I think if you look at the campaign he ran on you’ll see that he’s doing exactly what he said he would do.”
Congress has until Aug. 2 to raise debt ceiling — or federal borrowing limit — or the government will run out of money and possibly default on its debt. House Republicans say they won’t raise the debt limit without equal spending cuts. President Obama and Democrats insist that higher revenues must be included.
Hay promised that Franks would get the message and asked everyone who came provide contact information so they could be informed when Franks schedules his next town hall meeting. Franks’ Glendale office is at 7121 W. Bell Road.
“I can tell you that the congressman is usually the last person to leave,” Hay said. “He always sticks around if any of you would like to speak to him personally.”
Despite what Sun Citian Robert Ferrante described as long odds, he is still holding out hope that Franks will be swayed by their effort.
“There’s always hope,” he said. “I think we can get past any obstacle as long as we have hope.”
Deanna Stropes, also of Sun City, was not so optimistic.
“No, I hold out absolutely no hope that Franks will change his vote,” she said. “I know he won’t. What we need to do, ultimately, is find someone to replace him in office.”
If she felt there was no chance to sway Franks’ opinion, why, then, did Stropes participate in Monday’s effort to do so?
“Because this is a democracy and this is what you are supposed to do,” she said. “You make your voice heard. You participate. I think too many Americans haven’t been paying attention for too long. Until they get up off their couches and start participating, we’re doomed.”
Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.