Bashon Mann and his children sled down a hill at the Capitol as snow falls in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Congress welcomes sledders on Capitol Hill
January 25, 2016
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It took an act of Congress. But the children of Washington were finally welcome to sled on Capitol Hill.
A major blizzard hit Washington. The U.S. Capitol Police said Jan. 21 that they would not enforce a sledding ban. The law forbids sledding. The ban is to protect the Capitol grounds. But legislation cleared Congress in December. Lawmakers told the cops to chill out.
In prior years, Capitol police officers reluctantly enforced the ban. Last year people held a "sled-in." It had the full support of Washington's nonvoting delegate. She is Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton. A group of media covered the story. The police stood aside. They avoided the embarrassment and media coverage that would have come from breaking up the fun.
Enter the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Its chairman has an office that overlooks a prime sledding spot. The panel added language to a government funding bill. The bill told the Capitol Police to "forbear enforcement" of the ban "when encountering snow sledders on the grounds."
The police were still there. This time they watched to make sure the kids were having a safe time of it.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What makes Capitol Hill good for sledding?
Write your answers in the comments section below