Did you know you can actually sit in sessions of the of the House of Representatives and the Senate? At first, I didn’t think I would be interested but I was wrong and I really recommend going to one. Now you may be asking yourself what is session. Session is a meeting of a judicial body to conduct business or in this case the legislative branch. It’s where the senators debate, vote and pass bills.
On two different nights, we went to two different sessions. The first was the Senate and the second the House. If you are in the Washington DC area and you have a chance to go to a session, I recommend a House one.
Sessions are any time during the day and you can see if they are having a session if the American Flag is flying above the designated wing. For the Capitol building, one wing is for the house and the other is for the house or reps. If the flag is flying above the senate then the senate is in session and vice versa. In this picture, you can see both are in session because of the flags on each wing.
Both nights, I felt like a VIP. The Capitol Building was closed to the public for tours but anyone can attend sessions. We breezed through security and walked through the vacant halls to get to the Senate and House chambers. You have to go through security again and have to check in any phones, cameras and voice recorders. The gallery, where you view is very strict. You aren’t allowed to take pictures, record or even write anything.
On the first night, when we saw the house. They were going over the Obamacare. Some presented their case of wanting to keep it and others presented that wanted to repeal it. It was interesting to hear both sides. We even saw famous senators like Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer. During this whole time, the senators are standing and talking to one another on the floor. Some of them don’t listen to the speakers. They are like children at school all talking over each other. It was funny to watch. When it is time to vote on something they are given a slotted time to cast their vote. They had 15 minutes to decide on the bill and they had to have 60 yea votes to have the bill pass because there are 100 senators.
Now, on the other hand, the House of Representatives was a lot different because there are 435 representatives. And that’s only reps not counting the assistants, all the staff and the support of lawyers, transcriptionists, and others. That’s a lot of people on the floor, maybe 500! I thought the senate was crazy but boy oh boy were the reps crazy!
When we first came into the gallery, Hank Johnson was speaking. My family and I got a big kick out of that because of his viral video. He basically thought that the island of Guam would tip over and capsize if it had too many troops on it. If you haven’t seen this video, you have to watch it and watch the whole thing, It’s so funny!
All of the reps made everything crazy! They were even crazier than the senators and some of them would boo and yell when they didn’t get want they wanted. It was funny to watch and I thought it was more entertaining than the previous night.
They even discussed NASA and taking a trip to Mars in 2026. At least I think it was 2026, don’t quote me on it, but it was soon! Wouldn’t that be cool?
Hope you enjoyed this post! More DC posts coming soon! Catch up on my other posts in the meantime.