Christmas comes to Capitol Hill, even as omicron makes its way there too

This isn’t a rarity at any testing site around the country these days. 미국. Capitol — in 모두 its manifestations — simply mirrors the rest of American society.

Mask-wearing seemed slightly lax at the Capitol of late. But now masks dramatically reappeared among those who work here. 크리스마스 at the Capitol has always been dismal. 최근 몇 년 동안, 회의 has toiled through the holidays — often addressing some of the most consequential subjects facing the nation: 고소, a lengthy government shutdown, a transformational tax bill, 오바마케어, the fiscal cliff, a defense bill. Such holiday sessions have almost become the norm, ruining Christmas and New Year’s for many who work at the Capitol. 아무튼, this is Capitol Hill. It ain’t Santa Claus, Ind., or North Pole, 알래스카.

Most thought Congress would meet through the holidays this year as Democrats attempted to pass the social spending bill. There were flirtations with a government shutdown and the debt limit. But that was all put to bed last week — despite the internecine warfare now between some liberal Democrats and Sen. 조 만친, D-W.Va.

The recent COVID-19 surge simply reminded everyone that even if Democrats were close to having the bill text together and were within range of securing the votes of Manchin and Sen. 커스틴 시네마, D-아리즈., they probably couldn’t have approved the bill before Christmas anyway. 의미. 엘리자베스 워렌, D-Mass., 그리고 코리 부커, D-N.J., tested positive. There’s no remote voting in the Senate — unlike the House. That means Democrats lacked the votes to approve Build Back Better — even if things were ready to go.

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There aren’t a lot of 크리스마스 traditions on Capitol Hill. A handful of offices decorate informally with wreaths and lights. Some even wrap their doors like a package. The scent of gingerbread wafts through the House side of the Capitol with a cookie replica of the Capitol near the Memorial Door.

The Capitol kitchen staff ditched the practice last year because of the pandemic. But the five-foot, confectionary Capitol returned this year. Roll Call even reported that the Statue of Freedom perched atop the cookie dome broke off.

The non-edible Capitol is decorated with sugar, icing and candy. It’s baked in the Longworth and Cannon House Office Buildings and wheeled over to the House side of the Capitol. But few have seen this year’s rendition. Officials haven’t permitted formal tours in the building since March of last year.

More staff are back. But it’s scattered. Some still toil from home when it’s not absolutely essential that they venture to the Capitol. Others just roll in when needed. The same with lawmakers. Lobbyists are scarce.

When the House and Senate aren’t in session, the Capitol looms as a cavernous, marble tomb this deep into the pandemic. Especially at Christmas. 그렇지 않으면, it would bustle.

대표. James Comer, R-Ky., the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, recently wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D- 칼리프., about reopening the shuttered Capitol.

This is the People’s House,” wrote Comer. “But the American people are not allowed to enter.

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. decorated for the holiday season.

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. decorated for the holiday season.

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