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Gallery passes House or Senate

Suburb of San...
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Gallery passes House or Senate

We will be visiting DC next week. I requested a tour of Congress through my representatives office and that has been scheduled for months. From reading posts hear and info elsewhere it sounds like I can stop by the office of the rep to get gallery passes. Do I just do that when I am there? Can anyone just stop by the offices? My rep acutally just took a different job with the administration (Tauscher) so that might make things different.

I am just trying to figure out bhow easy it is to do this and what we can expect timing wise. Is there a way we can tell when we could even view a session? Any tips/ insight would be appreciated. We only have 2 full days in DC and I am getting a little overwhelmed with the feeling that I must schedule everything in advance (like Holocaust, Wash Mon, etc) It is just hard to know the timing on things.

Also, if my reps office booked the COngressional tour is it the same one I could have booked myself online. I have seen posts that indicate the tours are speciall VIP tours and I have seen others that indicate they are just the regular tour. Anyone know anything about that?

Thanks.

West Warwick, Rhode...
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1. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

The gallery passes are different than the normal "public" tour. We went to our Senator's office and picked up not only the public tour passes, but also 2 passes for the Senate gallery. The intern walked us to the Capitol and dumped us there (I guess some of them will give you a personal tour, but ours didn't). I believe that if you go through your Senator you will get a Senate pass. A Congressman will give you a House pass.

One recommendation.. we ended up in the Senate when nothing was going on (except for a rambling, very inarticulate speech from the new Senator of Illinois) and after looking around the room and seeing the historical aspects, wanted to leave. We were, unfortunately, at the inside of the row of seats and had to wait until everyone else in the row was ready before we could go... it was about 45 minutes when 10 would have done. In hindsight, be sure you sit on the aisle or front row where you can leave at will.

Lawton, Oklahoma
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2. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

Just got back from D.C. last week. Yes, you may also pick up Gallery Passes from your Senator's office or Representative. You probably should contact them and they will email you what to do and where to go. Anyone can visit the offices when they are open. We got Senate and House Gallery Passes from our Senators office, and also got a capital tour from one of his staffers. She did an excellent job.

My kids thought is was cool, you get to take the Senators trolley to the capital from the office buildings underground. We also ate lunch at the Senate cafeteria, pretty good. The House Cafeteria is good also. You can't take anything up with you to the Galleries, but they have public storage areas for your things. We were lucky, when we got back to Senator Inhoffe's office, he invited us into his office for a sit down chat. Worth a try? Good Luck.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

Both the House and the Senate should be in session next week. The House will probably be out on Monday and Friday, but should do full days the rest of the week.

The Senate schedule is a little more difficult to predict. They often start on Monday afternoon and sometimes stay in session on Friday.

dctravel

Suburb of San...
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4. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

Thanks for all the suggestions. SO it sounds like if we are on the aisle we can leave whevever we want?

Lawton, Oklahoma
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5. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

Yes.. You can leave whenever you like. If there is not a lot of legislation going on you may not want to stay long. The new Capital Center is great. Very nice. If you don't have a tour set up with you Senators or Representatives office you can still get a tour there. Nice brief film on the history of the Capital and how Congress works. Anyone can eat in the Senate or House Cafeterias also.

Fairhaven...
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for New Bedford
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6. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

We got our tour through our Congressman to go see them in session. To be honest with you, it took from start to finish about two hours to see the Capitol prior to the tour. We waited in a long line for at least 30 minutes only to be told from the point of checking your cell phones, etc., that it would be at least 45 minutes to get in to see them debating. We decided it wasn't worth our time as we, too, had limited time in DC. We decided to skip it all together. You could ask how long it takes from that point before you waste valuable time waiting in line.

7. Re: Gallery passes House or Senate

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