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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.