Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Angry about the shutdown? There's an app for that!

A free app designed to let you express frustration about travel delays to U.S. senators and members of Congress can also be used for something else: telling the electeds you're frustrated with the government shutdown.

Here, for example, is something to be frustrated about: Military death benefits are being held up by the shutdown. USA Today reports: 
The government shutdown is denying families of troops killed in combat, training or by other causes in the military from receiving an array of financial benefits. 
Families of four soldiers and a Marine killed in Afghanistan since the shutdown last week are not receiving a $100,000 death gratuity or any unpaid income due their loved ones, or being reimbursement for burial expenses, the Pentagon says. 
"Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time," says Navy Lt. Com. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman.
Building for America's Future Educational Fund, which promotes infrastructure investment, says the app is needed now more than ever.

CQ Roll Call's Executive Briefing explains. 
Way back in August, when the Oct. 1 government shutdown seemed like a distant possibility and the focus remained on what Congress might actually achieve once it returned from a long summer recess, Building America's Future released its "I'm Stuck" mobile device app. It lets users tell Congress about knuckle-whitening traffic backups, pothole alleys on Interstates, airport or train delays, worrisome bridges and other infrastructure problems. Nearly 11,000 downloads later, travelers have already tapped the software to send 3,000 such notes to lawmakers. Well, that same app has built-in features that can now let users sound off to Congress about the budget battles and disruption of federal services. 
BAF President Marcia Hale tells us that "with the government shutdown, it is more important than ever before for people to tell their members of Congress just how unhappy they are with the state of our roads, runways, rails and bridges in this country." She adds: "The app has always allowed users to modify the email they’re sending to their representative and senators, so users can send a message about their feelings on gridlock in Congress and on our roads.”
Click for the free iOS and Android download.