Jonathan Chait

The Lines Are Jammed!

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After President Obama urged Americans last night to call their member of Congress, the capitol switchboard has been flooded with calls:

The Capitol switchboard was on the verge of being overloaded with calls from across the country Tuesday morning after President Obama called on Americans in an address to the nation Monday evening to contact their members of Congress about the high-stakes debt battle playing out in Washington.

“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,” read an e-mail sent from the House Chief Administrative Officer’s Technology Call Center to members’ offices Tuesday morning. “Outbound calls are unaffected.”

How flooded? Ehh, not that flooded:

Reports from members’ offices Tuesday morning were mixed.

The office of Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said that the volume of calls to its Washington office had been “noticeably higher than normal.”

A spokeswoman for Rep. David Schweikert said that the level of phone calls received at the Arizona Republican’s office was “comparable to that during the ‘continuing resolution’ debate of several months ago.”

I wonder if the switchboard jammed because perhaps the capacity isn't all that high.

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