When Obama told Americans to contact their representatives to show support for his debt-ceiling plan, the response was so strong it overwhelmed some House telephone lines and websites.
On Tuesday morning, House officials said calls to telephone circuits there are hitting near capacity, with many callers getting busy signals. An alert advised members' offices to provide important contacts with alternative numbers, adding that outbound calls are unaffected.
In addition, Monday night and Tuesday morning checks of the websites of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., showed a "Server is too busy" response on an otherwise blank screen, as did the House Ways and Means Committee website on Tuesday morning. Boehner’s separate representative site was down on Monday night, also, though the district and House Majority Leader sites of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., were working.
Democrats were affected, too. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., tweeted that his site was struggling but that he was responding to constituents via Twitter. Coons wasn't alone: Boehner was among members of Congress tweeting after the back-to-back prime-time speeches by Obama and the House speaker.
Republicans and Democrats have issued rival plans to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before August 2, when the Treasury Department has said the government would be unable to pay all its bills.
Billy House contributed.