The health care bill unveiled Thursday has brought an "unprecedented" amount of traffic to the House server, Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the chief administrative officer of the House, told the Huffington Post.
"We think that it was eight times normal volume and it was certainly higher than the demand that we had when the first stimulus bill went up," he said. "It was probably the highest volume of traffic we've ever seen."
Ventura said that the congressional Web team re-engineered the site after the stimulus bill crashed it so that it would be prepared for days like Thursday. He conceded that demand for the stimulus bill may have ultimately been larger and that the site crashing diminished the numbers. But with the site still functioning, the Web folks have been blown away at the interest in the health care bill. "For us, it's fascinating to watch the levels of traffic. We're like, wow, this is just stunning," he said.
On a conference call with bloggers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she'd been told the bill had been downloaded more than eight million times. Ventura, however, said that the number couldn't be considered an accurate count of people going to the site. Better metrics, he said, will be available Friday.
He predicts the numbers will be the highest ever. "Our network engineers think it's unprecedented," he said.