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Capitol Hill passes

Adelaide
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Capitol Hill passes

Hi-

I visited Washington DC 13 years ago I wanted to go to the House/Senate gallery. I did some research at the time, I can't remember what website I got the information but It said that foreigners who go to Capitol hill with a passport were able to get a House/ Senate pass depending on the side of the grounds that you entered. I recall that I went to what turned out to be the Senate side and got a Senate pass which allowed you to be on the Senate side of the grounds and gallery. I really wanted to go to the House side with the hope to go to the House gallery but that line was very long. In the end I saw a few committees that were holding open hearings and was lucky enough to be able to go the Senate gallery.

My question is has anything changed re the process? and or example if you go in the late afternoon or early evening, im guessing the lines will be a bit shorter but is this allowed or do the House/Senate galleries closed at a particular time to the public even if they are still in session? ( I realise obviously that if the House/Senate is not in session that you can't go to the gallery).

Also when I was at the Captol in 2005 water bottles were not allowed, does anyone know if is still the case?

Thanks a lot

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3 replies to this topic
Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Capitol Hill passes

Here is information from the Capitol Building's very own website

https:/…watching-congress-session

The bottle is probably allowed, just not the water.

https:/…prohibited-items

Edited: June 08, 2018, 9:54 pm
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Capitol Hill passes

We were there in February. Security was strict and water bottles were not allowed (although probably as VJB1968 says, if you empty the water out, you can take the empty bottle in).

The process is pretty similar from what you described but you now go to the Visitors Centre and get the passes from separate Senate/House desks in the Visitors Centre. There are a lot of guides and staff around and they will point you in the right direction. You still need to take ID (we used passports). We got passes for both. The line for the House was also very long and the Senate was in recess the day we went so we went and had lunch nearby and visited the Library of Congress (very worthwhile), then came back and were able to go into watch the Senate in action. We were also keen to see the House so we kept our tickets and tried again a couple of days later. The lines were much shorter this time so we got in. I think you just have to get lucky. However allow a bit of time because even once you get past the first line, there is more security and more lines. It took a little patience and perseverance but we were glad that we did it. Im sorry I can help you about the closing times as I don't know that.

Adelaide
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3. Re: Capitol Hill passes

Thank you

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