NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today highlighted several of the many successes helping Tennesseans across the state during his first year in office.
“Along with an exceptional Senate staff, I have made it a priority since the day I took office to ensure we are available to meet the needs of all Tennesseans in their communities, and we have done that,” said Senator Hagerty. “My office has handled thousands of citizen’s requests and delivered impressive results. I look forward to continuing these important constituent services in 2022.”
2021 in Review
As 2021 comes to a close, Hagerty released the following information:
In the Washington, D.C. office, Hagerty’s office has received hundreds of thousands of letters from Tennessee citizens expressing their views on current events, legislation, and actions taken by the Biden Administration. As of this week:
- Received 232,137 unique pieces of mail from Tennesseans
- Responded to 227,313 individual letters from Tennesseans
Hagerty’s staff throughout the seven state offices—Nashville, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Jackson, Knoxville, Memphis, and Tri-Cities—worked to help Tennesseans and resolve various casework issues, such as assisting veterans with claims, resolving IRS disputes, aiding with passport and visa requests, and more. Since January:
- Opened 2,138 constituent cases
- Closed 1,525 constituent cases
Below are examples of the many success stories helping Tennesseans:
Rachel Jones, a caseworker in the Nashville office, completed a unique casework request after a citizen reached out regarding the U.S. Postal Service and a missing set of knives. The constituent sent a set of valuable knives to a company to be sharpened, but the set was lost in the mail. Though the knife set was insured, USPS did not pay the claim. The constituent had already filed four appeals—all of which were denied—and they could not appeal the decision anymore. Once Rachel took over the case, she was able to communicate with USPS and obtain the insured amount for the constituent’s knife set.
Stan Settles, a Field Representative in the Chattanooga office, was contacted by a local veteran about a recently deceased homeless veteran, Missy. She was known throughout the homeless community as a caretaker of other homeless veterans in the city, frequently collecting food and clothing for the homeless community. Missy served 22 months in the United States Navy as a dental assistant and received an Honorable Discharge. She was two months short of the service requirement to receive a burial in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Through Stan and the office’s work, Missy was given a special waiver by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to be buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetery with her fellow veterans. Her funeral and burial at the cemetery received local media coverage and was attended by hundreds of Tennesseans.
Bonny Warren, a caseworker in the Cookeville office, successfully closed a case involving two citizens stuck in Mexico while on business. Both of their passports were stolen and the Consulate was closed on the weekend. Bonny called the Bureau of Consular Affairs and Overseas Citizens Services. She worked with both the agencies and constituents to report the stolen passports, complete the necessary DS-64 and DS-11 applications, and acquire new passport photos. The constituents were soon issued emergency passports and headed to the airport to return home to Cookeville.
Amy Winstead, a caseworker in the Jackson office, helped a single mom obtain her tax refund. The constituent contacted the Jackson office on June 1, requesting assistance with the IRS in regards to her 2020 tax refund. Amy worked with the IRS and tax advocates to pinpoint the issue with the tax return and on June 22, the constituent received her tax return of $4,388.03, which included $21 in interest the government owed.
Mary Wooldridge, a caseworker in the Memphis office, worked successfully on a case with members of Hagerty’s D.C. staff to assist a constituent who needed to purchase a product from a Japanese chemical company. The company has a U.S. location; however, they would not release the chemical without a letter of authorization from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Normal processing would have taken over three months for approval, but that timeframe would have caused excessive and expensive delays in the constituent’s ability to meet Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) deadlines. Mary and the team worked with the Department of Commerce to grant expedited processing of the authorization and the constituent was able to receive the product in a timely manner.
Keith Abraham, a caseworker in the Knoxville office, helped get visas approved for two Italian workers moving to Tennessee to begin work at SL America Corp. in Clinton, Tennessee. Their unique expertise was necessary to set up and operate a critical aspect of the manufacturing process that affected many other aspects of the company’s Tennessee operation. The company reached out to Keith in February, and he worked with the U.S. Consulate in Florence, Italy, expedited the workers’ interviews, and helped get their visas approved in early April.
Tracie O’Hara, a caseworker in the Tri-Cities office, helped a citizen stuck in Canada trying to return to the United States to be with his sick wife. Tracie worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and conducted a virtual meeting with the Port Director at the U.S.-Canadian border. Tracie was able to secure the constituent access back into the U.S. and reunite him with his wife.