Senate Phones Disrupted by Deluge of Calls

Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:07pm

A deluge of phone calls is causing problems with the Senate’s voice mail system, prompting officials to ask staffers to regularly delete their messages.The Senate’s chief information officer sent out an e-mail to staffers Friday encouraging them to “retrieve and delete messages from the voice mail system throughout the day and evening.—“We are experiencing a high volume of calls which is having an impact on call transfers and voice mail,— the e-mail stated. “We are continuing to monitor the situation.—The calls are ostensibly tied to the Senate’s cloture vote Saturday night on health care reform legislation. On Nov. 6, the Capitol suffered similar problems as interest groups launched calling campaigns before the House passed its health care reform bill.It’s unclear whether officials can fix the problem; the CIO’s e-mail reported that the “estimated time to restore— was “unknown.— A spokeswoman from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms office, which oversees the Capitol switchboard, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.