House phone lines were nearing capacity on Tuesday as conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh encouraged fans to call in their objections on healthcare legislation.

The House e-mail system was also deluged in what the House’s technology office called “a very significant spike” in traffic.


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The office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) sent out a system-wide advisory to member offices at 2 p.m. Tuesday, warning them of the dramatic increase in traffic.
“Our phone system is nearing capacity,” said Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the CAO. “It got critical enough whereby we notified all systems’ administrators throughout the House that the phone systems are overloading.”

At the top of Limbaugh’s website are toll-free and local phone numbers for the Capitol operator, plus the message: “Call the Capitol Switchboard,” followed by “Code Red: Click Here for List of Targeted Congressmen.”

While Ventura said the CAO didn’t have specific numbers of how many calls the House was receiving, he did say that it would have to be “an extraordinary volume” in order for it to clog the system.

Read More: By Jordy Yager, the Hill


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