This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
President Barack Obama may be having trouble securing a deal to avoid an economic crisis, but he sure can create work for interns in Congress.In his address on the debt limit, Obama implored the public to contact Congress, saying: "The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government. 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. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."The public listened, or at least the political activists did. Almost immediately the Capitol switchboard crashed and websites were overloaded. Early Tuesday, it is still hit or miss, with many finding nothing but a busy signal when they call.Rep. Jim Matheson's office said few people were able to get through the backlog to talk to the office in Washington, but the congressman's office in Utah was able to hear from a steady stream of concerned citizens, some backing the president and some opposing his position. Sen. Orrin Hatch's office says their phones haven't crashed, but they have experienced an increase in calls largely from people living outside of Utah. And his staff says most of the calls coming in are arguing against any tax increases as part of a debt reduction deal. Matt CanhamTwitter.com/mattcanham