Heading into a busy news weekend, Senators face e-mail outage


Sen.Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) looks at an e-mail that was just handed to him by his aide, Jay Khosla right. Sept. 30, 2009 (The Washington Post/Sarah L. Voisin)

It’s a staffer’s dream and a senator’s nightmare.

For a few hours Saturday morning, the Senate’s e-mail system will experience outages. Meaning? Lawmakers won’t be able to send frantic messages to their chiefs of staff or flacks — unless they resort to the old fashioned pick up the phone method of communication.

We’re told the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms sent a notice that it will be testing the online systems from 5:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m., which will cause delays and outages on Senate e-mail, BlackBerrys and the ability to access the Senate’s server from a home computer.

We suggest staffers take this opportunity to plan leisurely brunches with friends without their phone glued permanently to the table.

The Sergeant at Arms’ office assures us it will be a brief, minimal interruption.

It’s maybe not the most opportune time for an e-mail blackout, one Senate aide points out. There’s only Iraqi airstrikes, Ebola scares, Gaza violence — not to mention midterm politics that will determine the Senate’s balance of power — that the senators will be demanding constant updates on.

 

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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