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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

U.S. House Puts Limit On Constituent Emails To Prevent Website Crash

The U.S. House of Representatives are limiting the amount of emails their constituents can send to individual House members due to the volume of emails coming in regarding the "bailout". They fear too many will crash the House website.

A spokesman for the spokesman for the Chief Administrative Office (CAO), Jeff Ventura, who is responsible for the House website and email services says "We were trying to figure out a way that the website wouldn’t completely crash."

To that end, the CAO sent out a letter on Tuesday morning stating his office had place a limit on the number of emails that could be sent using the "Write Your Representative" function found at the House of Representatives website. The limit would be in effect during peak email traffic times according to The Hill.

“This measure has become temporarily necessary to ensure that Congressional websites are not completely disabled by the millions of e-mails flowing into the system,”the letter reads.

Ventura continued to explain how this function would work by saying "What we had to do was basically install the digital equivalent of a traffic cop. It was a question of inconveniencing everybody or inconveniencing some people some of the time, while servicing other people the other half of the time.”

Members of the house starting noticing massive amounts of emails coming in regarding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, otherwise known as the "bailout" package, as more people became aware of the text of the bill itself and had some type of comment they wanted to make in communications with their respective representatives.

The error message that is seen reads: (Right now the message below shows at the "Write your Representative" link on the U.S. House website.

"The House of Representatives is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high amount of e-mail traffic. The Write Your Representative function is therefore intermittently available. While we realize communicating to your Members of Congress is critical, we suggest attempting to do so at a later time, when demand is not so high. System engineers are working to resolve this issue and we appreciate your patience.”

Ventura admits the problems the email volume caused to the website might not be fixed until the economic package was finalized.

This will make it extremely difficult for constituents to contact their representative to communicate their feelings about any bill that comes up for a vote, including any further bailout bills.

Another option for contacting Congress is the by telephone at (202)225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator.

See, this mass email to the Reps happened with the immigration reform bill and it was because of the massive emails, phones calls, letters and people close enough stopping in, that forced Congress to defeat it.

Guess what? Those millions of emails did not force a "limit" on how many emails the House site allowed. We crashed their switchboard a time or two and we certainly brought the site down to a crawl, but they didn't do this.

This is far more than just limiting for the sake of their site, they are, in MY opinion, deliberately trying to stop the public from threatening their members reelection chances by telling them straight up, "vote for this, get voted out."

It is so obvious that I cannot believe they are even trying it.

Hence my making sure to provide the phone number. Constituents should always be able to email their reps...this is bull.


Now we know why they are limiting the emails, via Malkin:

A Senate bailout vote is scheduled tomorrow at 9pm Eastern.


(1)Motion to concur on the House message, H.R. 2095, Rail Safety;
(2)a Dorgan amendment relating to H.R. 7081, the U.S. - India Nuclear agreement;
(3)a Bingaman amendment relating to H.R. 7081, the U.S. - India Nuclear agreement;
(4)passage of H.R. 7081, the U.S. - India Nuclear agreement;
(5)a Dodd amendment to H.R. 1424, relating to the bailout package; and
(6)passage of H.R. 1424, the bailout.

Get your fingers dialing:


No details on whether any changes have been made to the bill that failed to pass.