WASHINGTON -- Trying to call your congressman? Good luck not getting a busy signal.
The Globe made a round of calls to the 12 Massachusetts congressional offices in Washington before 4 p.m. today, and half of them did not go through. Of the six that were successful the first time, half of those offices also had a busy signal on a follow-up call.
The reason: health care. With Congress making its final push toward passing health reform, calls are pouring in to congressional offices urging members to either pass or kill the legislation.
“It's been on all sides: 'It goes too far.' 'It doesn't go far enough,'” said Michael Mershon, press secretary to US Representative James McGovern, who the Globe successfully reached by phone.
McGovern, a Worcester Democrat, is getting more calls because he's on the House Rules Committee, Mershon said. “Some people are calling all Massachusetts representatives, and some people are calling from all over the country.”
Activists and leaders on the right have helped push the phone-call avalanche, including Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Palin tweeted: “Phones ringing nonstop in DC; Keep it up! Contact Congress tell them NO to Slaughter Rule. Start over w/real healthcare & follow r Constitution.”
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.