United States Senate Page: Wikis


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A group of Senate pages with Vice President Thomas R. Marshall on the steps of the Capitol, c. 1913-1921

A United States Senate Page (Senate Page or simply Page) is a non-partisan federal employee serving the United States Senate in Washington, DC. Despite the non-partisan affiliation, Pages are typically divided to serve the party that appointed them.



In order to become a US Senate Page, one must first be nominated by a Senator, generally from his or her State. Positions are frequently given out as patronage. Senators are granted a chance to nominate a Page based on seniority. Generally, senators who have served the longest are guaranteed Pages, but there are occasions in which less senior senators nominate Pages. A prospective school year candidate must be a 16 or 17 year-old high school junior (11th grade), with at least a 3.0 GPA. Summer pages can be either incoming or outgoing juniors and still have a GPA requirement of a 3.0. Additional processes for selection vary from different sponsoring Senators' offices. Typically, a senators' office will require the applicant to submit a transcript, resume, and various essays. The process is similar to that of selecting an office employee, and may include interview of final applicants by a board of review. After a Senator has reviewed all the submissions, one is appointed based on his or her personal preference.

Nominations for the school year are typically more competitive. However, US Senate Pages can apply for appointment to one of four terms: a five-month Fall semester (September-February), a five-month Spring semester (February-June), or either of two abbreviated three-week summer sessions in June and July.

During the school year, there are up to 30 Pages. The majority appoints up to 16, while the minority appoints up to 14. In the summer, there is no firm limit on the number of Pages, but it is traditionally around 40, with the majority again being allowed a greater number.

Uniform and appearance

Because US Senate Pages are required to wear uniforms while on the job, they are some of the most recognized employees of the Senate. The uniform consists of a navy blue suit, a white, long sleeve, traditional dress shirt, a name badge, Page insignia lapel pin, and a plain, navy tie (males only).

As expected of most Senate employees, Pages are especially required to maintain a neat, professional appearance. Boys must be clean-shaven with hair kept short and neat. Girls must also have their hair neat and kept out of their face. There is no extraneous jewelry to be worn.

Residence and free time

Plaque outside the Senate Page Residence

US Senate Pages currently reside at the Daniel Webster Senate Page Residence. This facility was previously a funeral home and was reconfigured in order to provide Pages with a home away from home during their time in Washington. Administration and staff include the Page Program Director, Administrative Assistant, four resident Proctors, and one non-resident Proctor.

The living quarters cover two floors, one for male Pages, the other for female Pages. Each floor has a community day room for social activity. All Pages share furnished rooms with other Pages and each room is designed for four or six occupants. Each room has closet space, a bathroom, and a single telephone shared by the entire room. The Senate Page School, laundry facilities and a kitchen are located on the basement level.

The program provides the pages with 2 meals per day, seven days per week. Breakfast is provided each day through a fully stocked kitchen. Lunch is provided on weekdays through a meal card at the Senate Cafeteria. On Saturdays, lunch or dinner is usually provided through a voucher for a meal at Union Station, or if the Pages are on a field trip, dinner will be provided on the trip. On Sundays, the program provides dinner in the kitchen, or goes out to a restaurant.

Senate Pages having a snowball fight in front of the Capitol, ca. 1925

The United States Capitol Police maintains a 24-hour post at Webster Hall as well as outside foot and car patrols. Their responsibility is to provide security for the facility and its occupants and to monitor access to the building. Webster Hall is monitored by a security alarm system.

When not at school or at work, Pages are given some liberty with their free time. Pages are subject to a curfew (9:00 p.m. on school nights and 10:00 p.m. during the weekend) and are expected to maintain high standards. Regarding transit, while Pages are not permitted to bring personal vehicles with them to the District of Columbia, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has an underground rail system which they are welcome to use.

On occasional weekends, Pages are free from school or work obligations. Most spend their time working on school assignments, touring the many attractions in the DC area or simply relaxing from a long week's work. For holidays, Pages return home for Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year and spring breaks; the dormitory is closed during these periods.

The Senate Sergeant at Arms supervises Webster Hall.

Before the move to Webster Hall, both the House and Senate Pages shared a living space in the former House Office Building Annex #1 (which has since been torn down).


US Senate Pages (who serve during either of the semester programs) attend school located in the lower level of Webster Hall. The US Senate Page School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The Page School requires each student to enroll in four classes, which are various subjects of mathematics, science, English, and social studies. Foreign language tutoring is available for nearly every language. Usually the students receive 3 to 4 hours of homework each night. If they do not maintain at least a 75% average in each class, they are subject to dismissal.

Each week day, classes begin at precisely 6:15 a.m.. Class length varies from 30 to 50 minutes, depending upon the daily schedule of the Senate. Generally, school ends one hour and 15 minutes before the Senate convenes. If the Senate does not convene, or not before 11:00 a.m., school ends at 9:45. It is possible to have classes as short as 20 minutes, or no classes at all. This is affected by what time the Senate convenes or what time it adjourned the previous day.

The Page school supervises the Student Council and the preparation of a yearbook. It also administers Page class rings, which have the Senate emblem and session of the Congress in place of a typical high school's mascot.

Pages are also required to participate in school field trips. Run by the Senate Page School, they are conducted approximately one Saturday a month to sites in or around Washington. These field trips are usually at historically oriented landmarks in the mid-Atlantic area (i.e. Liberty Bell, Philadelphia; DuPont Mills, Delaware; etc.)

Nancy Erickson, The Secretary of the Senate supervises the United States Senate Page School.

Prior to the page residence being moved to Webster Hall, the US Senate Page School was housed in the attic of the Library of Congress.

Commuter Pages

During the summer sessions only, many pages live in either their homes or the homes of their relatives in the Washington, D.C. area. These pages fulfill the same duties as the residential summer pages, except that they arrive at 8:00AM and depart at 6:00PM regardless of the action of the Senate that day (residential pages are required to stay until after the Senate adjourns for the day). Commuter pages are allowed to participate in field trips with the other pages.


The Page's work life revolves around the Capitol. A Page serves the party of his appointing Senator. The Pages are employed by the Sergeant at Arms and technically report to the Secretary for the Majority and the Secretary for the Minority. The supervision of the Pages has been delegated to the cloakrooms.

Senate Pages play an important role in the daily operation of the Senate. Page duties consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional Complex. Other duties include preparing the Chamber for Senate session, taking messages for Senators or calling them to the phone, and carrying bills and amendments to the presiding officer's desk. Pages also retrieve lecterns, easels, and water for Senators and clerks.

When the Senate is in session for important business, filibusters, and emergency situations, Pages are sometimes required to work into the early hours of the morning.

When the Senate is not in session, Pages work from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Pages are compensated $25,978 per annum, from which are deducted federal and local (based upon the individual page's permanent residence) taxes and a $750 per month residence fee.


The job of page comes with many perks. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Watching the political action up close. They come into contact with many high-ranking government personnel.
  • Unrestricted access to virtually everywhere in the Capitol (such as the Senate Chamber, Marble Room, cloakrooms, and Senate lobby), a small but interesting perk that many other Senate employees don't have.
  • Boarding on Capitol Hill with teenagers from all around the country at no heavy financial burden to them.
  • A chance to watch joint meetings of Congress, as well as the State of the Union Address.
  • The opportunity to make use of the Library of Congress, United States Senate Library, and other facilities in the Capitol.
  • A chance to tour and see much of what Washington, DC as well as surrounding areas and states have to offer.

Popular Culture

  • The Onion, a satirical humor paper, featured the Senate Pages on the front page in an article about an abduction by the "Congressional Swamp Monster."[1]
  • In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a 1939 film, Pages are periodically featured throughout the movie as much younger than by today's standards. Sen. Smith gives inducts them all into his group, "The Boy Rangers."
  • In Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington, an episode of The Simpsons' third season, a Senate Page named Brad Fletcher informs a senator that a "little girl has lost faith in democracy," resulting in the expulsion of a corrupt congressman.[2]

Notable Former Senate Pages

See also


External links



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