Lawmakers Vow Fight To Save Page Program
August 22, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Members of Congress have vowed to fight a decision to eliminate the U.S. House page program, calling it an “integral part of the legislative process.”
It is the first time lawmakers have formally opposed the decision to eliminate the program, Roll Call reports.
“Pages have been an integral part of the legislative process dating back to the First Constitutional Convention, and it is a mistake to end the program rather than making changes to bring down the costs and expand the role of pages,” 29 House Democrats said in a the letter to congressional leaders.
Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., who led the group, said eliminating the page program would “harm the institution of Congress as a whole.”
“I am disappointed that members were not brought to the table to discuss this important decision,” Boren said in a statement.
He said he would “look at every avenue to save this vital institution.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced this month they would cancel the page program.
Roll Call said the decision came in response to a report by independent contractors who found the page program costs $5 million a year and technology has made pages’ duties obsolete. The report has not been publicly released.
Members who want to retain the program suggested decreasing or eliminating pages’ salaries or giving them different tasks, such as leading tours for constituents.