House phones near capacity
July 26th, 2011
11:45 AM ET
11 years ago

House phones near capacity

(CNN) - Capitol Hill is ringing busy Tuesday due to a high volume of calls and jammed phone lines in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to an email from the House's call center.

The phone traffic comes after President Barack Obama asked Americans to contact their elected leaders in his primetime speech Monday.

"Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals," the email said.

Officials recommended that staff members provide their district offices with additional phone numbers for constituents who want to reach Washington, D.C.

"Offices have been advised to utilize alternate extensions when possible," said Salley Wood, communications director for the House Administration Committee, which handles day-to-day operations in members' offices on Capitol Hill.

House offices are also receiving a flood of emails, and a number of websites are down or experiencing slow connections as of late Tuesday morning. House Speaker John Boehner's website responds with a "Server Too Busy" or "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)" message.

Kyle Anderson, Democratic communications director for the House Administration Committee, said the deluge of calls and emails from Americans underline "the seriousness of default."

"These are the people with Social Security and Medicare benefits at stake, individuals with pensions and retirement accounts invested in the financial markets and business owners whose continued existence is based upon their ability to access capital markets at reasonable interest rates," said Anderson. "Their message, and sense of urgency, are clear."

- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh and CNN Radio's Capitol Hill Correspondent Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • House
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Cosmo

    The GOP is not just "job-killing" it is "USA-killing". Use your phones and e-mail to let these misguided ideologues know that Americans do not share their "pricnciples'. It is time that the majority ruled this country, not a small, vocal, subsidized minority.

    July 26, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Name bryan

    Look out for me with a cane on the 3rd of August getting food at the store. Lol

    July 26, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Lori in St Pete

    Things that make you go hmmmm..... I had no problem getting through to Senator Bill Nelson's email – got through on my first attempt. However, I've been trying all day to email rubio & Congressman Bill Young – both to no avail. Hmmmmm.

    July 26, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Name Connie

    It's sad to say and to know that the Republicans (puppets of the tea party), will ruin the United States of America in order to bring down the ELECTED PRESIDENT of the USA. They just can't stand his position in office. Hate is an ugly monster. It can be seen in all of their faces.

    July 26, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. With Obama

    Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times...... 18!
    George W raised it 7.
    President Obama is trying to avoid a very avoidable and very dangerous event that will harm not only this nation but the world also. Who are these people who stand against him, against compromise, against the true will of the people and what do they stand to gain? The Tea Party/Republican leadership is lying!!!!!
    Even with giving a little more, the wealthy will still be wealthy.

    July 26, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Dr. Kathleen Ruddy

    The easiest and fastest way to contact Members of Congress is via the FREE smart phone app, Lobby Me Pink, available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. It allows the user to send emails directly from their phones to Members of Congress (and their staff) using zip code prompts. Let freedom ring.

    July 26, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Embarrased Conservative

    What's the point? The GOP is out of control and they aren't listening to any of these things unless it is someone who agrees with them.

    July 26, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. sage

    I vote now to raise the debt ceiling immediately under the plan the president proposes. I agree with him 100%. The American people may have mistakenly voted for a divided government but not a dysfunctional govt. We are starting to look like a country of imbeciles. No one in the house or senate should get a pay check until this is passed. Get this done now or shame on you.

    July 26, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Jurek

    Good job obama and other democrats! Im not voting for gop because theyve done nothing under bush and now besides bringing this country down and into debt! That is the truth

    July 26, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Maggie

    You democrats and liberals panicking now but wait until Obama bankrupts the country then let us see what you will do. He has to be stopped before its too late. If Obama gets more money all he will do is spend..spend...spend and we will end up with the same problem next year. Time to go Mr. President... we have seen what you have to offer and its thanks but no thanks.

    July 26, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Indie-voter

    @ Nini

    Wishful thinking. I'm pretty sure that's not actually what they're saying. The (R)s, with the help of the Tea Party, have painted themselves into a corner with this Norquist pledge. It's great to be principled....until reality sets in. Now, when the time comes to legislate effectively, a bunch of people who, in a short-sighted attempt to appease their base, put their professional lives on the line and are in a position where they cannot waver in the least. And they're standing rigidly not on principle, but on fear of unemployment....the irony here being it may be that rigid stance which ends up costing them their jobs.

    Now, it seems to me that essentially what the President is advocating, which appears to be a roughly 3:1 cut/revenue increase, is pretty fair and appears to be a major step toward reducing spending, not increasing it. Maybe I'm just not that smart. However, if in the face of the information that is out there, you remain steadfast in your opinion that Obama simply wants to spend, spend, spend, then I don't know what to tell you.

    Independent critical thinking, along with even just a modicum of understanding of civics, appear to be a thing of the past.

    July 26, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Mike Delorean

    Speaker Boehner is awsome!!!

    July 26, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    I bet Grover Norquist could get through to all of his Repub. Congressmen.

    July 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "We have a representative democracy. Our laws are not made by refernda."

    Says someone who supported Prop 8 and similar BS. All I hear from you and other conservatives day in and day out is "waaaaaaaaaah, democracy is only working when it goes my way...sniffle sniffle."

    July 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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