Phone calls to House spike again following Obama plea for action

House telephone lines were jammed Friday after President Obama again asked voters to keep pressure on lawmakers about raising the debt ceiling.

Telephone circuits were reported at near capacity around 11:45 a.m. The office of the House’s chief administrative officer did not yet have total call-in figures, but spokesman Dan Weiser told The Hill: “Call volume is up, some people may experience some busy signals.”

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The spike follows Obama’s remarks Friday calling on leaders to come up with a compromise plan that could pass both chambers of Congress, after the House postponed a Thursday vote on the debt plan put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Obama urged Americans to “keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.”

"Make a phone call, send an email, tweet,” he said. 

Obama similarly urged voters to make contact with lawmakers on the debt ceiling in a primetime address Monday. He asked them to show their support for a balanced approach to increasing the debt ceiling that would include spending cuts, entitlement reforms and increased taxes. 

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” he said in his address. “So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard: If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.”

House phone lines peaked at about 40,000 calls between noon and 1 p.m. Tuesday, and websites crashed due to high visitor traffic throughout the day.