Congressmen inundated with phone calls over debt

July 26, 2011 (FOX LAKE, Ill.)

Congressional offices are reporting a flood of phone calls.

On Tuesday, dozens came out to Peter Roskam's office to send the Republican congressman a message.

"It is extremely important for Congressman Roskam to know that his constituents are standing behind the president in a balanced approach to the deficit reduction," said Diane Niesman, Wheaton resident.

Roskam's office was the site of dueling demonstrations, one organized by the progressive action group MoveOn.Org, the other by the tea party group West Suburban Patriots.

"We want him and the rest of the Republicans to hold the line. We need to cut spending. We need to cap spending. And we need to pass a balanced budget amendment that has teeth in it," said Carol Davis, West Suburban Patriots.

Democratic legislators, including Congressman Jan Schakowsky, Representative Danny Davis and Congressman Mike Quigley, have been inundated with calls at their Washington and Chicago-area offices. The phones have been lighting up in Senator Dick Durbin's D.C. office, which says calls have been evenly split between those favoring the current GOP-sponsored House proposal and the Democratic-led Senate legislation.

In northwest suburban Fox Lake, there's been a steady stream of calls all day at Congressman Joe Walsh's office -- not just from people in the 8th Congressional District but from across the country.

"We have had hundreds of calls. The majority of the calls have been folks calling, constituents saying, 'stand firm, we're there for you,'" said David Carlin, district director for Walsh.

Congressman Walsh, a first-time House Republican, has been one of the most outspoken conservatives on the debt ceiling issue. Some constituents aren't happy about it.

"I called yesterday. I'll call again tomorrow. I'll call as many times as it takes but I really don't think he is paying attention," said Rochelle Weber, Volo resident.

Traffic on Walsh's website was so great ithas been down since Monday night.

If lawmakers in Washington don't reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling by August 2, the country won't be able to pay its bills.

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