Congressional Leaders Suspend Walk-up Capitol Tours

Posted March 21, 2003 at 9:12am

As part of the ongoing efforts to improve security within the Congressional complex, some Capitol tour operations have been suspended.

“There still will be several tours up here on the Hill,” said Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel. “We know that the spring is a very busy season up here and most school groups that arrange a tour do it several months in advance. Those tours at this point will all continue. Tours out of a Member’s office will continue. The only tours that at this point we are going to stop are … the walk-ups. Those that come up in the morning and walk up to the booth.”

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) began discussions Thursday about the possibility of halting tours as one of a range of options to protect the Capitol from possible attacks, according to First spokesman Nicholas Smith. The final decision was made last night.

“The decision resulted from communications between the Capitol Police Board, the chief of police and leadership from the House and Senate. It was a decision that was made for the security of all of those that work up here and visit,” said Gissubel.

No timetable has been set for the resumption of public tours.