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House Page Program Ends after Two Centuries

1 min read
Photo: Architect of the Capitol

The famous House Page Program, where teenagers served as paid messengers on Capitol Hill for more than 200 years, is coming to an end.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the end of the program Monday, citing advanced technology that has reduced the need for messengers and the high cost of the program.

“This decision was not easy,” Boehner and Pelosi said. “But it is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology that have rendered most page-provided services no longer essential to the smooth functioning of the House.”

National Journal reports the House received a report showing the program costs an annual $5 million per year, with the per-page cost in each school year between $69,000 and $80,000.

The original page tasks of delivering large packages of documents and other items between offices and relaying phone messages are now almost entirely done electronically.

Boehner and Pelosi said the House historian will prepare an official historical tribute to the House Page Program. The Senate plans to stay with tradition and keep its pages.

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