One of the important roles of any member of Congress is to serve as a liaison for his or her constituents to the federal government. Acting as that liaison or ombudsman rarely gets headlines or letters to the editor, but it is one of the most important things that I do. Accordingly, I want to share some of the services my office provides and the ways my team and I can assist you.
Constituent services are typically handled by members of my local staff at our district offices or during my staff traveling office hours, which are held in every area monthly. If you have questions or face any complications, our office can often intercede on a constituent’s behalf to answer questions, find solutions, or cut through red tape with federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Labor, Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service, and more.
We also can help constituents who are requesting or renewing passports, asking for the expedited processing of these documents, or dealing with issues involving travel visas. This has been more problematic as a result of COVID, so please don’t hesitate to call early.
While we can offer much assistance, I would note that we are generally prohibited from becoming involved in legal matters or overriding decisions made by a federal agency.
An inquiry related to a federal matter can be opened on your behalf by contacting my office either by phone or website or attending traveling staff office hours. They are held at least once each month in every area that doesn’t have a bricks and mortar office. Currently, our bricks and mortar offices are located in Abingdon and Christiansburg. During traveling staff office hours, you are also invited to share opinions regarding legislative matters. The monthly schedule of our visits to your area is posted on my website at the beginning of each month.
Regardless of which federal agency you may need help with, we will need your written authorization in order to comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act. Our privacy consent form can be found on my website or you may contact us by phone or mail to obtain the form. When returning this form to my team, you will want to include any pertinent information and claim numbers that might be needed. The form also asks that you summarize your issue with the federal agency to help ensure we understand exactly what assistance you are seeking.
Additionally, my staff can help navigate the process of applying for grants from the Federal Government or seeking a nomination to the U.S. Service Academies.
In Washington, we can usually set up tours of several national landmarks such as the Supreme Court, Bureau of Printing & Engraving, Library of Congress, and our most requested tours – the U.S. Capitol and the White House. However, due to COVID, some of the tours have been suspended. Many of these tours can be booked up months in advance, so contact my office as early as possible if you are planning a trip to the nation’s capital. Our team can also give you a list of other popular attractions and museums you may want to add to your trip itinerary. So, please do not hesitate to contact my D.C. office with any questions or inquiries regarding your trip to the capital. My staff is here and happy to assist you.
Constituents can reach out to our office to purchase American flags—including ones flown over the Capitol. Also, a United States flag for burial purposes may be obtained from my office for a veteran’s casket at no charge if you have a completed VA27-2008 form.
My office works hard to provide resources for the youth in the Ninth District. We offer internships in both my Washington, D.C. office and my district offices. Internships run throughout the fall, spring, or summer semesters for college students and provide invaluable work and hands-on experience. Further information about the internships can be found on my website. There is also an education kids page on my website to provide resources to the students that have an interest in learning more about American government.
It is my honor and privilege to serve you and assist in your interactions with the federal government. If I can help you, please contact us.
For questions, concerns, or comments, call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405, my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671, or via email at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.