It’s a program that has resulted in some of the most notable lawmakers in modern American history and some of its most disturbing scandals as well and today the House of Representative’s page program was officially shut down.
The move to end the program was announced in a joint statement by Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The program allows teenagers to experience the inner workings of the Capitol. It has been part of the House’s culture for 175 years. Now, the party leaders say they are terminating it because of its cost- $5 million dollars a year.
While trimming the fat seems to be the logic behind this move, many are arguing that this move is the wrong one to make. Speaking to The New York Times, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley (an alum of the page program) said:
“There’s a simple elegance and power to having the rising generation present in our government. This is an institution that is truly priceless that is being put up on the block to save an insignificant amount of money.”
Still, as the Times points out, the program does have a more sullied recent reputation:
In 2006, Representative Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, resigned amid accusations that he had sent sexually explicit messages to young men who had been pages. The year after that, four pages were expelled from the House program amid accusations of shoplifting and sexual misconduct within their ranks. Those allegations prompted Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Boehner to pledge a thorough review.
What do you think of the decision to end the House’s page program- short sighted or the right move? Tell us what you think Clutchettes and gents weigh in!