Phones are once again ringing off the hook on Capitol Hill after President Obama repeated his request for voters to call their representatives and let them know what they think about the ongoing debt debate.
The Capitol call center alerted House offices Friday that the high level of incoming calls put the House phone circuits near capacity. The House faced a similar influx of calls earlier in the week after the president urged people to get involved.
"On Monday night, I asked the American people to make their voice heard in this debate, and the response was overwhelming," Mr. Obama said in a White House address this morning. "So please, to all the American people, keep it up. If you want to see a bipartisan compromise, a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign, let your members of Congress know."
He urged people to call, email, or contact their congressmen via Twitter -- "Keep the pressure on Washington and we can get past this," he said. He repeated the message on his 2012 re-election Twitter feed: "The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. --BO"
With just days left to raise the debt limit before the U.S. exhausts its borrowing authority, Mr. Obama said he'd do his part to work with congressional leaders through the weekend.
After delivering his White House remarks, Mr. Obama dispatched his 2012 re-election team to get voters talking about the debt debate on Twitter. His team tweeted, "You heard the President. So here's what we're doing: throughout the day we'll post the Twitter handles of GOP lawmakers in each state."
Using the hash tag #compromise, the 2012 Obama team then methodically tweeted messages directed at voters in every state. "Folks with Republican representatives in Indiana: Make sure your representative knows you support a compromise in the deficit debate," the team tweeted, followed by a message, "Indiana Republican reps on Twitter: @repstutzman (IN- 03), @toddrokita (IN-04), @repdanburton (IN-05), @repmikepence (IN-06) #compromise."
The move elicited a variety of responses on the micro-blogging site.
Some Republicans responded seriously: "Soon, @BarackObama feed will tell his followers to tweet NC GOP Reps in Washington to support his #compromise," the North Carolina Republican party tweeted. They followed that with the message, "but on Nov. 6, 2012, the NCGOP will help #takebackNC because @BarackObamahas #failedtolead."
Others were quick to ridicule or express their bemusement at the attempt to encourage compromise via Twitter. The liberal blog ThinkProgress tweeted, "hahahaha RT @BarackObama: Kentucky voters: Tweet @SenRandPaul and ask him to compromise on a balanced deficit solution."