Citing high costs and limited duties, House Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday they are ending the page program that has seen both successes and its share of controversy.
The two top lawmakers said at a cost of up to $80,000 a year for each page slot, it wasn’t worth it, particularly since lawmakers are now in touch with their offices and each other through Blackberrys and other electronics, so pages’ duties have been curtailed.
“This decision was not easy, but it is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology that have rendered most page-provided services no longer essential to the smooth functioning of the House,” the two lawmakers said.
They promised to try to find a way for high school students to get involved with the work of Congress.
Some former members of Congress participated in the program as youngsters. The program brings students to Capitol Hill, where they stay in a dorm and continue studies while helping operations on the House floor.
But in recent years the program was known more for scandal. In 2006, Rep. Mark Foley resigned after he sent suggestive instant messages to former male pages.