Congressional Websites, Phones Crash

Posted July 26, 2011 at 9:55am

A high amount of calls and Internet traffic are crashing House websites and phone systems after President Barack Obama urged Americans in a prime-time address Monday night to call Members of Congress and urge them to compromise on a debt deal.

“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,” according to an email sent to House staffers from the call center.

Outbound calls are unaffected, according to the note.

Several websites hosted on the server were down Tuesday as well, including the website for the House Appropriations Committee and the official sites for Members of Congress ranging from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.).

In March, House phone systems broke down when radio personality Rush Limbaugh gave his audience members the Capitol switchboard number and urged them to call it. At the time, House administrators estimated that the switchboard was fielding 40,000 calls per hour.