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. JonDie

    Just like Republicans to be not only enemies of the environment but enemies of our country. What if someone actually needed to use the phone system for an emergency? Oh, that's right, Republicans want disasters, including terrorist attacks, to occur because fear it what Republican still think they can exploit, even if it hurt or kills Americans.

    June 26, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. carlos

    CONServatives against, well......EVERYTHING

    that hissing hewitt of course he is one of those reptiles calling for a boycott of GM cars.....stupidity at its best and may I add...ignorance....I will buy one in the next few weeks and piss on the intolerance of those hissers.....rotten evils

    June 26, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. ron

    Still more from the few remaining members of the party of no...

    No Ideas
    No Future.

    June 26, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Lesley

    Of course Repubs want to continue to allow the planet to choke. They like the status quo and don't want to move into the 21st Century and invest in new technology. We can look forward to four more years of obstructionist behavior. What are their solutions? More money for the energy industry, continued pollution of our air? Great.

    June 26, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Eric

    keep calling, maybe enough will get the message.

    June 26, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. New Day

    Well, let's hope these congress people vote their conscience and not what they think will get them re-elected.

    June 26, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Skip, a black man

    WOW, i love the USA!

    June 26, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Margaret

    We should all get together and make so many calls we crash the system demanding an affordable public option for health care coverage!

    We're going to need it more than ever if the 'conservative' radio hosts get their way and nothing is done about things like our air quality!

    June 26, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. kmarcus122

    Yeah...vote NO to life on earth!!!

    June 26, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Don

    A good example all the little right wing, brainless dominion, dutifully calling in and "trying" to stop an obviously much needed and long over due climate bill.

    They also probably called in to start having schools teach that the world is actually flat! :-)

    June 26, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Fred

    It just passed.

    Right wing radio 0, earth 1

    June 26, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. john

    No to the climate bill! We can always move to another planet if this one becomes inhabitable.

    June 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Terry from West Texas

    Conservatives are delusional. They reason like this: "If global warming is true, then government action is necessary. Government action can never be necessary. Therefore, global warming can't be true."

    Or, "If global warming were true, then global corporations would have to change their behavior in response to something other than a profit motive. This would mean that global corporations would not be absolutely free. Therefore, there can be no global warming."

    Or, "If global warming were true, then Liberals would be right. Liberals cannot be right, therefore the whole concept of global warming is a LIberal conspiracy."

    They are leading us right off the cliff.

    June 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Peter E

    I don't mind people expressing their opinions. What I mind is them being zombies to pundits instead of having any actual reasons for their opinions. If Rush Limbaugh told them the Earth was flat, they would mindlessly parrot that as gospel too!

    June 26, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. G-P

    I've heard these AM pundits and their wild, grossly exaggerated and false figures.

    If these pundits are going to use our airwaves against our own best interests, then the needs to be some kind of law that forces them to be truthful.

    These pundits lie like a rug, and their listeners eat it up.

    And the sad thing is the people that listen to these pundits don't even know they're being lied to. Their biases and prejudices are reinforced.

    Sad.

    June 26, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Limbaugh is a liberal

    It was rainy and cold today in my city, even though it's supposed to be summer. There, I just completely disproved the 'theory' of seasons! And if you're a republican, there is a 90% chance that you actually took me seriously on that and think it was a valid argument!

    June 26, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Yossi Gestetner

    If not for the Eight Repubs, the bill would have gone down. Just four votes the other way, and it would have failed.

    June 26, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. annie s

    I support this bill. But then again, unlike conservative Republicans, I care more about the future of this great country than I do about oil profits.

    June 26, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Becky in Indiana

    Funny, I called Pete Visclosky to support it.

    June 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. butterfly

    I guess it means nothing to them that we should be caretakers of this earth G*d gave us. Why do they want to destroy it? We are stewards of this planet and it will only sustain us when cared for. I suppose for those who feed into the thought that "G*d's going to destroy the earth anyway" theory it doesn't matter. The word "conservative" is what these people use to describe themselves? Do they know what the word conserve means? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Strange folks they are.

    June 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. demwit

    Don;t care because I earn enough to pay Obama's extra taxes. Its the poor that will suffer the most under the progressive agenda. Too bad they don't yet realize what the liberal media led them to dubiously vote for..., but they will in time.

    June 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Bill in California

    IS THERE A CRACK IN THE 'RUBBER STAMP' REGIME? Perhaps the unconvinced Dems are staring at the naked EMPEROR for the first time. Or perhaps November 2010 is drawing close much quicker with every stroke of the President's pen.

    June 26, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Gwen K.Smith

    All of the American for change need to raise to have your voices heard

    Not just fof November 4, 2008 but our President needs us to help get the issues we wanted past . So call , write and communicate to your representative we want health reform, enviormental, and all other changes for a stronger and better America. It we do not stand and use our voice. What we did in 2008 will be lost to a negative group that does care about all of us.

    June 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. Thinker

    Incredible. Where I live we hit 103 F (39 C) today. That was the ambient temperature; the heat index was even higher. We have beaten 100 degrees every day since June 11. We've been near 100 degrees every day this month.

    This goes beyond heat. Look at the rains in the northeast. Look at the lack of rain in the Pacific northwest. Look beyond our borders to the rest of the planet. The climate IS changing. Human beings ARE the cause.

    And these folks flooding the phone lines will kill all of us in the name of their almighty economy. Truly the love of money is the root of all evil.

    June 26, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. ib

    And they still didn't listen. Vote the idiots out in 2010 no matter what party they claim to be with if they voted for this stupid bill. Vote them out in 2010!!!!

    June 26, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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