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Constituents Complain About Toomey's Jammed Telephone Lines

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- "Where's Pat? Where's Pat? Where's Pat?"

Shouting "Where's Pat" outside his Pittsburgh office at Sheraton Square, local residents are complaining that they cannot get through to Sen. Pat Toomey's offices by phone to voice their concerns on a number of issues.

KDKA political editor Jon Delano dialed both his Washington and Pittsburgh offices and repeatedly got a busy signal.

Sen. Toomey's communications director, Elizabeth "E.R." Anderson, says they are very aware of the difficulty.

"Sen. Toomey's staff in both Pennsylvania and Washington are taking an 'all hands on deck' approach in answering as many calls and emails as possible while also attending to other responsibilities," she said. "Voicemail accounts are being emptied regularly, but with call volume as heavy as it is, mailboxes do fill quickly. We appreciate everyone's patience."

The senators are being targeted by people who want them to vote against Betsy DeVos, President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education.

Sen. Bob Casey's office says contact volume is up 900 percent.

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With four lines available, Sen. Casey was answering one of them explaining his opposition to DeVos.

"She is really way outside of the mainstream on education," Sen. Casey says to a constituent on the phone.

"I thought she would actually try to work harder to win our votes by talking more about public schools, but she didn't," Sen. Casey said.

DeVos has been opposed by many groups who say she has no public school experience.

Right now, it's fifty-fifty on whether she gets confirmed, which explains the heavy call volume.

Toomey is encouraging constituents to reach him online through his website.

The vote on DeVos is expected early next week.

Two Republicans, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, have announced they would oppose her.

But it takes three Republicans and all the Democrats to defeat her confirmation.

On Wednesday, Sen. Toomey said he would vote for DeVos.

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