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House Pages Missing as Chamber Returns to Work

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Hal Rogers said the House pages added “excitement and freshness to this stale institution.”

“Now each office has to send their own staff Member, maybe an intern or maybe the newest member on staff,” he said. “There hasn’t been any significant disruption to the process, but there have been conveniences that have been removed.”

But cries about inconvenience or forsaken tradition were lost on some House freshmen, who were swept into office last year on campaign pledges to reduce the federal budget.

“Other than seeing those very sweet smiling faces lined up in the back, there has been no functional change in what we’re doing,” said first-term Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.). “It’s something that had great charm in the current era, but charm has to yield to fiscal necessity.”

Nonetheless, the desire to revive the program is as bipartisan as the decision to end it. Rep. Allen West said he would have preferred to make budget cuts elsewhere.

“I have a freshman in high school, my daughter, and I was really thinking about how nice it would be for her to come up here and get this experience,” the Florida Republican said. “I think maybe sometime down the road we should reconsider it.”

Kingston, Cummings and 24-term Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) also said they would like to see the decision reconsidered.

“All the Speaker has to do is rescind the order,” Conyers said Friday. “One piece of paper, one note from him would start it back up.”

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