Dear Editor,

According to the July 14, 2016, report by the Congressional Research Service entitled Salaries and Allowances: In Brief, in order to ensure the welfare of the citizens of their district or state, we pay members of Congress a base annual salary of $174,000. They also enjoy generous health and life insurance provisions.

A Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA) is available to support legislators in their official and representational duties and may be used for expenses including staff, travel, mail, office equipment, district office rental, stationery and other supplies. The average MRA is $1,268,520 apiece.

Our senators are authorized not more than 5000 square feet of home state office space in federal buildings plus $40,000 for furnishings from an approved list. A senator’s annual Official Personnel and Office Expense Account (SOPOEA) averages around $3,306,570.

Enzi, Barrasso and Cheney must face us voters! We have allowed elected officials to forget or simply ignore the fact that they are servants of the people, not the pawns of special interests.

We are dismayed by what appears to be a pattern of deliberate avoidance and willful neglect that clearly demonstrates contempt for us constituents.

A group of non-partisan residents hopes to remedy this situation and has invited our three congressmen to connect with us at two town hall meetings during this month’s recess. We will assemble on Tuesday, April 11 in the county library’s Cottonwood Room to pose questions and to offer feedback on their service.

A second opportunity to join us has been arranged for the following week on Wednesday, April 19 in Room 130 of LCCC’s CCI Building. Both will be moderated by former CBS News Anchor Dave Lerner from 6 until 8 p.m.

It surely appears that our current administration is bent on destroying our nation’s life support systems. Since thousands of us here in Wyoming fear our country is in crisis, face-to-face discussions with our representatives are now most definitely in order.

We badly need our Legislature diligently working to protect programs for which we are taxed, preserve important federal protections and steadfastly defend all of our cherished constitutional freedoms.

Geri Maria Johnson