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Snow Won’t Stop Patrick Leahy

Leahy photographs the National Mall. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)
Leahy photographs the National Mall. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol campus was quiet Monday following a massive winter storm in the District of Columbia over the weekend, but snow didn’t stop Sen. Patrick J. Leahy from heading into work.  

The Vermont Democrat was spotted entering the Senate around 2 p.m., with his camera in one hand and two bags of papers in the other. He had weathered the storm at his home in the suburbs, since he didn’t want to risk getting stuck in Vermont while a family member was set to have surgery in the D.C. area.  

“I figured as a Vermonter I better come by my office for a while. We’ve had people in and out of the office all weekend,” Leahy said.  

“But what we’re hearing from our friends in Vermont [is], ‘Will you please send the snow to Vermont? We could use it,’” Leahy joked. “And everybody I’ve talked with here at the Capitol yesterday and earlier today saying, ‘Yeah, you want it in Vermont? Take it.’”  

Leahy was heading to his hideaway office in the Capitol to get some work done and also take pictures of the National Mall on the sunny afternoon. Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate, has a prime office location, right next Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s ceremonial office with access to the Speaker’s balcony and an amazing view of the Mall.  

The Vermont Democrat is also known for his photography, and seized the opportunity to take some pictures of the snow-covered grounds. Signs on the doors leading to the balcony warned people entering to be aware of the live stream of the grounds, which Ryan’s office set up to give the public a view of the winter storm from the balcony. By the time Leahy entered the balcony, the live stream had concluded, and no camera was in sight.  

“This will go on my Instagram page tomorrow,” Leahy remarked as he snapped pictures of the Mall, referencing his social media account .  

“It was impressive,” Leahy said of the winter storm. “I was glad we didn’t lose power. We have a place in the suburbs. Usually our home in Vermont loses power less than it did down here, but we didn’t. What bothered me was the night before, the huge traffic jams caused by a neglect.”  

Two nights before the storm hit the D.C. area on Jan. 22, two inches of snow brought the city to a standstill on untreated streets. District Mayor Muriel Bowser later apologized for the traffic mayhem.  

“Ironically we have done a better job handling the 20 to 30 inches of snow than they ever did the two inches. And a lot of the main arteries are open,” Leahy said. “But I don’t think we’ve ever completely closed our offices in the Senate on a snow day.”  

Congress Stays Away, but Not Sledders

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