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Monday
Aug082011

House Page Program to Conclude

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the end of the House Page Program Monday, closing the door on a storied program for young people that had hiccups and led to the resignation of at least one congressman.

Pelosi and Boehner pointed to advances in technology that have reduced the need for pages.

"The pages -- high school students who spend a semester in Congress, have been a commonplace sight in Congress for more than a hundred years, with their matching navy blazers. They might be carrying packages and other documents to different offices in both the House and Capitol," said Pelosi and Boehner in a statement. “We have great appreciation for the unique role that Pages have played in the history and traditions of the House of Representatives.

“This decision was not easy, 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. Although the traditional mission of the Page Program has diminished, we will work with Members of the House to carry on the tradition of engaging young people in the work of the Congress.”

The House Page Program, which has been around for 200 years, is run by the office of the Clerk of the House. The position was once filled by high school juniors, assuming they remained non-partisan in order to provide supplemental administrative support to House operations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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