By the time the “all clear” was issued shortly before 3 p.m., some of the furious social media flurries had petered out, as people put down their mobile devices to emerge from where they had been detained. There was a hush around the Capitol, even with the halls less frantic than usual given the shutdown’s suspension of tours and furloughs of scores of staff.
“The incident requiring staff to shelter in place has concluded,” a Senate-side email message read. “Occupants may exit their shelter in place location and return to normal operations.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.