June 26th, 2009
06:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Callers against climate bill crash phone system

A coordinated conservative push to kill a climate change bill took down the House of Representatives' phone switchboard.
A coordinated conservative push to kill a climate change bill took down the House of Representatives' phone switchboard.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A coordinated conservative push to kill a climate change bill managed to at least take down the House of Representatives' phone switchboard.

The volume of calls to House members Friday was so high that a spokesman for the House chief administrative officer told CNN Radio the system could not handle it.

"Phone traffic has increased to a level where some callers are receiving an 'all circuits are busy now, please try back again later' message," communications director Jeff Ventura wrote in an e-mail response.

This came as conservative radio hosts and congressmen made direct pleas for voters to dial the Capitol and oppose a Democratic bill that would set strict limits on carbon emissions. Both sides believed the bill was within a few votes of passing or failing.

"Call your congressman, right now!" urged Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, from the House floor as the chamber seemed to near a vote.

Ventura said the bill was likely behind the phone-line crash. "The suspected cause ... is believed to be interest and inquiries regarding the expected vote on the climate bill," he wrote.

Busy signals blared from congressional offices beginning Friday morning. Traffic was especially jammed at key committees and in offices of potential swing voters, including Democrats from traditionally Republican states, like Texas.

"I can't begin to tell you how many calls we've received," said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas, "and it's disproportionately vote 'no.'" Gonzalez said calls were disproportionately "yes" during the committee process and he planned to support the bill.

Ventura said technical staff was working to try and resolve the issue late Friday.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Make all the yes votes pay at the polls. Take names.

    June 26, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Only 21% of Americans trust republicans to lead them into the 21st century!

    The republiklan cabal, "christian" Taliban and the limbaugh lemmings all working together to see that the leader of the republiklans, limbaugh's agenda for America to fail, is successful!

    Hopefully, they were happy being "tea-bagged" by limbaugh, while they licked his boots!

    June 26, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. Thomasr

    The right wing war machine is being brought down.

    June 26, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. Mike Dallas

    And no doubt this "grass roots" event was financed by big oil...

    June 26, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. vilux

    I want to extend my thanks to all the people who called and made the system crash so the House wouldn't be able to process any calls - subsequently passing the bill. Thank you. The will of the people, as opposed to a few fringe on the right, is heard. We march forward.

    June 26, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. DemInSt.Louis

    Why do conservatives not want to stop this problem. It does not make sense. All I can do is shake my head.

    June 26, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. Rob

    And did any of these representatives listen to us ?

    June 26, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    OUR Representatives hard at work....by ignoring the people! Stand by to pay out higher taxes for your utility bill.

    June 26, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  9. phoenix86

    Wait until the crash of 2010, when the 219 join the ranks of the other 12% unemployed in 2010.

    Bye bye Waxman. So long Pelosi.

    June 26, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. DRB

    This bill should have died and not been passes. It does not matter what the Congressmen and women want, it is what the people of America want, and NO NEW TAXES on our current means of staying warm and getting to work is what a majority want. Another nail in America's coffin is being driven in. Poverty is fast approaching! This is not a Dem./Rep. fight, it is just insanity. If the technology was developed to be implemented in a large scale role out that was affordable – great! I'm all for it, but this is ludicrous! We don't have that large of a scale roll out ready and in a cost effective way to get it done. This is just about forcing rules and regulations to TAX/Steal money from those who work. It is all about power. The citizen with less and the government with more.

    June 26, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    And lots of these callers are calling over and over.

    June 26, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Jasaah

    Republican need to be rejuvinated and come try to come back in 2050 perhaps. You guys are done for now, powerless, evil doers, and non-American. Is like kids starting kindergarden again.

    June 26, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. Tatianna

    If Obama can dupe a majority with words, division is allayed – even as he goes about implementing (or trying) a system of which most people would otherwise fiercely oppose.

    June 26, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. Mike

    Why do these people keep passing bills that they have not had time to read?

    June 26, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  15. another GOP failed attempt

    all the puppets calling after Lush & Goober Hannity told them to call...too bad it was a waste of time like the teaparty....GOP.....GROUP OF PUPPETS....

    June 26, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. Nancy

    I called my Congressman and it wasn't because of the reasons listed above. He voted against the bill, by the way. Perhaps the American people know they can't afford the higher utility bills and actually wanted their representatives to vote according to what the PEOPLE wanted.

    I'm proud of the fact that the PEOPLE are taking more interest in what's going on in DC. The representatives would be wise to take note.

    With all due respect, Mr. Gonzalez knows that most of the people in his district can't afford the higher rates and he should be ashamed for voting against their wants and needs. I'm sure they'll remember how he voted when their bills arrive and they can't afford to pay them.

    June 26, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. Lauren

    The party of no is at it again. They do not care about America at all. Their concern is supposed to be for the people, instead they are only concerned about blocking everything, and hoping Obama (and America) fails.

    June 26, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. Danielson, Pittsburgh PA

    Yeah. Whatever we do. DON'T admit there's anything wrong with the way we've raped our climate. Buy stock instead. Play Ted Nugent instead. Google Sarah Palin instead. Anything...anything...anything...but admit we've screwed up our planet and are willing to try and do something about it.

    June 26, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  19. TCM

    crashing the phone system should be a wake up call for the idiots in the white house and washington. They're destroying our country bit by bit !

    June 26, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  20. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Two words: KEEP CALLING!!. Let them really know how you feel anout getting ripped off, which this bill will do. Your future depends on it!!

    June 26, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. Ed

    It seems that every day there is more and more evidence contrary to the man made global warming theory. I wonder what Democrat lobbyists will benefit from this bill. Like the stimulus package, this is moe typical wasteful corrupt spending. Lord help us all.

    June 26, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  22. ender

    Maybe that should be the new Republican slogan.

    Bog everything down till it crashes so we can get our way.

    Brillient!!!

    Lol the "Party of No" marches on.

    June 26, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Legna

    It was not a coordinated effort. It was people of common sense trying to stop illogical thinking from a house built with nuts.

    June 27, 2009 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
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