US House of Representatives Ending Page Program

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 6:05 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The U.S. House of Representatives is ending a nearly 200-year-old program that gave high school students the opportunity to work in Congress for several months.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Minority leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, say the page program will close at the end of this month.

They cited the program's $5 million yearly expense and said advances in technology have rendered the pages' services unnecessary.

The program employed about 70 students each term to serve as messengers and couriers around the congressional complex. But now most documents are distributed electronically.

The House pages also had their own dormitory and school.

The program has stirred controversy in the past. In 2006, Republican Representative Mark Foley of Florida resigned following reports he had sent sexually explicit messages to at least one former male page.

A similar page program in the Senate will continue, and Boehner and Pelosi say they will work with House lawmakers to “carry on the tradition of engaging young people in the work of the Congress.”