Capitol Hill Buried in Avalanche of Angry Mail
One office seeing 1,422% more mail than in 2002
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 9:41 AM CDT
Neither sleet nor snow can keep mail out of DC...   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

(Newser) – Could the USPS' last great hope be angry Americans? An avalanche of letters and emails are pouring into Congress, with offices reporting that they're dealing with, in one case, as much as 1,422% more constituent-penned correspondence than they did in 2002. Politico reports that House offices are seeing an average of 158% more mail; in the Senate, it's an average increase of 548%. The majority of the messages are related to advocacy campaigns, estimates the nonpartisan foundation behind the report, and they're leading to shifts in resources.

Some 58% of staffers say they spend more time dealing with mail than they did two years ago, though they're getting a little more tech savvy. Only 6% of staffers say they answer email with a mailed message. But some things still move slowly: 41% say it takes more than a week to respond to email, and 42% say it takes more than three weeks to get approval on a new response to a fresh issue.