12:01pm

Tue July 26, 2011
It's All Politics

Vox Populi Strains Congress' Phone Lines, Websites

Originally published on Tue July 26, 2011 11:39 am

Americans are evidently responding to President Obama's request Monday evening that they contact their lawmakers.

Congress' phone lines and web sites were jammed Tuesday, becoming unavailable for many who tried to communicate with Capitol Hill.

Congress' call center sent the following email across Capitol Hill:

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. Outbound calls are unaffected.

Also, more than 140 congressional websites were affected after the speech, both Republican and Democratic sites, according to a congressional aide.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner's web site was down for most of the night, too, the aide said.

Not everyone saw the problem as benign. One commenter to a post on the NPR.org website wrote:

The fact that so many congressional websites were down at the moment the President called for the people to comment is a continuation of the problem. Our country is being sabotaged in more ways than one.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.