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New push to restore historic House Page program

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Congress,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Senate,House of Representatives

The House Page Program, which existed for nearly 200 years before being killed two years ago, may be poised for a comeback.

Former pages associated with an alumni group are mounting an effort to revive the program and some current House members are eager for it to return. Key to the campaign to convince members to restore page service is a new documentary detailing the past successes of the program that gave academic achievers an insider view of Congress.

In August 2011, House Democratic and Republican leaders announced that the program would end. They cited the $5 million annual budget and changes brought by the digital age that reduced the need for blue-suited male and female pages to run messages between lawmakers.

But some members said the experience gained in the education program was worth the price. “I think the page program was a huge asset to our body, but also especially to the individuals who were able to participate in that,” Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price recently told Secrets.

Only the House Page Program was killed. The Senate continues to use young pages.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.