Thank you for contacting me.
Unfortunately, a lapse in funding has required the nonessential operations of the federal government to temporarily close. I will be unable to respond to your message until the situation is resolved.
As we continue to discuss and debate the many significant challenges facing our Commonwealth and country, I do appreciate you taking time to contact me. Hearing from Virginians helps me better understand my constituents and the issues facing them.
I encourage you to visit my website at www.kaine.senate.gov for regular updates about my activities, as well as my positions on issues that are important to Virginia and our nation.
Thank you again for contacting me.I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the Senator considers responding to his constituents to be a "nonessential" activity. It is surprising that he openly admitted it, rather than simply ignoring voter input as usual. (Will he send a promotion touting his honesty next?) Any elected official who claims they can't do the job of responding to constituents should be removed from office — by whatever means necessary to fix the problem.
It's worth noting that on the same day I received this email, Kaine was still posting to his Twitter feed. Apparently Twitter is an "essential" part of being a Senator.