No one's answering, frustration growing as debt deadline looms
Reporter: Steve Nuñez
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With less than a week until the nation defaults on its debt, no bill appears able to pass and both Republicans and Democrats have stopped negotiating. The flood of calls from angry Americans behind both sides of the aisle keep on coming.
So have you tried to contact your Representative's office? One retired Tucson woman, who lives on a fixed income, has tried to do just that countless times. But she hasn't gotten an answer.
Marge Oravetz is frustrated.
"I've called this number several times," said Oravetz, as she pointed to a number listed for Congress.
The retired federal worker has spent the entire day calling and calling again trying to reach someone who will listen to her concerns.
"Well, its ringing now," said Oravetz after redialing the number. Seven rings later, the call goes straight to voice mail.
Oravetz, a Navy Accounting Technician, supports Congress raising the debt ceiling. That's because the 80-year old is concerned she may not receive her Social Security check.
"And I only get $278 a month social security," said Oravetz.
So with no answers from Congress, 9 On Your Side took her concerns to Pima County's Don't Borrow Trouble. The agency is an unbiased non-profit organization that also provides financial education.
Evelia Martinez, a lending specialist, told 9 On Your Side people like Oravetz, who live on a fixed income, could be impacted the most whether the U.S. Defaults or not. Oravetz recently racked up debt on her credit cards just to make ends meet.
"The credit of the United States always has been at an 850 credit score, its on the verge of dropping significantly," said Martinez.
Credit ratings agencies warned they will downgrade the nation's credit without a deal that cuts the deficit. Martinez said banks are still likely to raise interest rates and pass more cost hikes to consumers.
"They'll gradually start to increase the renewal fees, they'll gradually start to increase the over limit fees," said Martinez. "The average consumer will probably have to pay more, cost of living will go up."
Oravetz said that's exactly why she's still determined to keep redialing until she talks to someone in Congress. The Democrat said she's especially interested in reaching Arizona's Republican Senator's John McCain and Jon Kyl.
Nuñez asked: "Do you really think your voice is going to be heard?"
"Maybe they would wake up and know that their future is on the line and not just ours," said Oravetz.
Meanwhile, the House was supposed to vote on speaker John Boehner's plan. But it was delayed because the Congressional Budget Office said his plan saves just $850 billion, far less than the $1.2 trillion he advertised.
Representatives from Congressman Raul Grijalva, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Senator John McCain told 9 On Your Side their phone lines were not ringing off the hook as they did on Tuesday. We were unable to reach Senator Jon Kyl's office.