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Blogs / Power

Senators As Refugees

August 6, 2012
Senators will have to meet for pro forma sessions this summer, but don't except to see them showing up to do it on their stately Senate floor. They'll be in the Hart building, where they'll open up the sessions that never include legislative work.

Roll Call reports that renovation work that will shut off access to the Senate chamber, galleries and lobby will go on as planned. This, despite, the House's failed vote to officially adjourn, which forces the Senate to conduct pro forma sessions every three days. From the story:

Except for occasional debates on classified information that are held in the Old Senate Chamber, the last time Senators met off the floor was last August, when an earthquake prompted the evacuation of the Capitol and the interruption of a pro forma session. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) presided in a room in the Postal Square Building next to Union Station

Before that, [Senate Historian Don] Ritchie said, the last time the Senate was displaced was in 1814, when the British burned down part of the Capitol during the War of 1812.

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