Capitol Detour

Posted September 14, 2004 at 6:25pm

The lower terrace of the Capitol’s West Front will close to pedestrian traffic Sept. 22 when construction of stands for the 2005 inauguration ceremony begins. [IMGCAP(1)]

During construction, Member and staff entrances will be closed and public tours will be rerouted to exit from the Senate side of the Capitol.

According to a Sept. 10 memorandum issued by Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman, the lower terrace will remain closed until mid-February 2005, after the stands are removed.

The West Front’s upper terrace was closed to visitors following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

What Electoral Votes? Reps. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) are set to introduce a constitutional amendment establishing the direct election of the president and vice president. Their proposal would abolish the Electoral College and make the winner of the popular vote the next commander in chief.

“By abolishing the Electoral College, we force the candidates to reach out to all people and encourage voter participation,” Baird said in a statement.

The two plan to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. today in the House Radio/TV gallery.

Shots All Around. The Attending Physician’s Office will begin offering flu shots to Congressional employees Oct. 7.

Anyone with a valid Congressional identification card will be eligible to receive a free flu shot. The shots will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at any of the health stations located in the Capitol or the House and Senate office buildings.

The Attending Physician’s Office follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which recommend that the vaccine be given to people older than 50 years; those with chronic heart, lung, kidney or metabolic disease or weakened immune systems; pregnant women; and anyone living in the same household as someone in an at-risk group.

— Jennifer Yachnin and Suzanne Nelson