Long Lines Traced to Budget Sequester

Want to find evidence of the federal budget sequester having an effect? Just look at the long, soggy lines outside Capitol office buildings where people are waiting because overtime for Capitol Police guards has been trimmed. [Credit: CQ Roll Call]If you want to know where federal budget sequestration really hurts, ask the people standing in line in the rain to get into one of the House and Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill.

To avoid "compromising security" because of the loss of overtime pay for guards, the Capitol Police closed a dozen entrances around the Capitol. As a result, Roll Call reports there were lines of people, stretching in some cases an entire block, waiting to get in a building to meet with their congressman or senator. Some probably missed their appointments. Everyone got soaked.

And the long lines won't disappear any time soon, Capitol Police say. They don't have the staff levels, with budget cuts, to reduce the congestion.

Trying to find the silver lining, some congressional staffers are taking pains to advise visitors to show up early so they aren't late for their Capitol Hill appointments. They might be treading on tender feelings by noting the lines are the result of the inability of Congress to find a budget compromise to replace large, across-the-board spending cuts.