Through an amendment to a spending bill, lawmakers are urging the Capitol Police to allow D.C. residents to sled on Capitol Hill.
The ban on Hill sledding garnered attention this past winter, as families were turned away, sleds in hand, from sliding down the snowy hill with the Capitol in the background. Capitol Police reportedly told one hopeful sledder that a congressional appropriator insisted the ban be enforced. On Thursday, House appropriators made their position clear as they debated the bill to fund the legislative branch, which includes Capitol Police funds. By a voice vote, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment stating that they commend the Capitol Police for protecting the Capitol.
"However," the amendment reads, "given the family-style neighborhood that the Capitol shares with the surrounding community the Committee would urge the Capitol Police to forbear enforcement of 2 U.S.C. 1963 ('An act to protect the public property, turf and grass of the Capitol Grounds from injury') and the Traffic Regulations for the United States Capitol Grounds when encountering snow sledders on the Capitol grounds."
While the amendment simply urges Capitol Police to not enforce the ban, it also indicates that members of Congress support the right to sled on the Hill.
"It was a lot of member requests to address that issue," Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Graves, R-Ga., told CQ Roll Call after the markup. "And so we just wanted to go ahead and incorporate it in and let the Capitol Police know that it's important to the members of Congress that the Capitol Grounds are still considered a place for the people of our country to enjoy, but also provide some discretion for them as well."
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