Updated 1:10 p.m. | The late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg will be buried Friday morning at Arlington National Cemetery, but before that, the New Jersey Democrat who died early Monday morning will lie in repose in the well of the Senate chamber on Thursday.
Lautenberg was the last veteran of World War II to serve in the Senate.
A senior Senate Democratic aide said Monday evening that senators were working on agreement to use the chamber for a memorial to Lautenberg in a reprise of a tradition revived in honor of West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd. Lautenberg’s office made the formal announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
The memorial for Byrd was the first such event since 1959, when a chamber funeral took place for Sen. William Langer, R-N.D. In Byrd’s case, a public viewing from the chamber’s galleries followed a private prayer. Staffers and others holding valid credentials were permitted on the floor of the chamber to walk past Byrd’s flag-draped casket, which rested upon the historic Lincoln catafalque, which was built in 1865 following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The same catafalque has been used for other services in both the Senate chamber and the Capitol Rotunda.
While Byrd’s casket was on the floor, the Senate granted rare permission for a pool photographer from the press to take photographs inside the chamber. The chamber’s video cameras were turned off, however. That prevented C-SPAN and others from showing video.
Funeral services for Lautenberg will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at a New York City synagogue. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., will be among those offering eulogies.
Many senators are expected to attend that service, and much of the Senate’s committee work schedule is being scrapped to allow for attendance. The senator will then make a final Amtrak trip from the railroad station that bears his name in Secaucus, N.J., to Washington, D.C.
Reid said that he still hoped the Senate could reach an agreement to finish work on the farm bill this week, as well as hold test votes on competing proposals to block a scheduled increase in student loan rates. He said Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., continued to work on a finite list of amendments.
Regardless, Reid said that he will bring the immigration overhaul reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee before the Memorial Day recess to the floor next week.
The schedule of events honoring Lautenberg is as follows:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5th 2013
11:30 a.m.—Funeral service with eulogies by Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Lautenberg Family.
Park Avenue Synagogue
50 East 87th Street
New York, NY 10128
**Press at the funeral service will be pooled. A flat bed truck will be available across the street beginning at 9:30 a.m. for additional media set-up.
3:00 p.m.—Color Guard ceremony transferring casket to Amtrak train en route to Washington, D.C.
Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station
County Rd at County Ave
Secaucus, NJ 07094
***Ceremony at Lautenberg Station will be open to press. Press to arrive by 2:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, JUNE 6th 2013
TBD p.m—Casket arrives at U.S. Capitol. Color Guard ceremony.
East Senate Steps
***Ceremony open to press
TBD p.m—Senator Lautenberg lies in repose on the Lincoln catafalque
U.S. Senate Chamber
***The viewing inside the Senate chamber will be open to the public following an initial viewing period with the family. Limited press access.
FRIDAY, JUNE 7th 2013
***Press at Arlington Cemetery will be pooled.