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Switched drawers

There could be a hiccup in the history.

Officials suspect that over time, some of the drawers may have become mixed up and are no longer attached to their original desks.

“Once the desk drawers started to be signed and associated with a certain desk, I have a feeling a few desk drawers moved after that time,” Ms. Skvarla said. “When they were cleaning them, they might have taken them out and things got switched around. Some of desk drawers don’t seem to fit the desks as well as they probably should.”

The House is undergoing its own renovations this summer for what a spokeswoman called “routine maintenance on the plaster ceiling — cleaning, restoring and repairs.”

Eva Malecki, the communications officer for the Architect of the Capitol, would not provide a price tag, but said the annual maintenance was being “done in-house.”

The chamber was closed to the public throughout August so that floor-to-ceiling scaffolding could be erected to reach the ceiling.

Unlike the Senate, the House no longer has individual desks, but rather has benches. Lawmakers sit wherever they like.

In the Senate, the desk that consistently needs the most maintenance is the candy desk, which stands in the back row on the Republican side, close to the most heavily used entrance to the chamber, Ms. Skvarla said.

Whichever senator has that desk keeps the drawer stocked with candy made in his home state. Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican who now holds the desk, promises to keep it stocked with Mars, Milky Way and Snickers bars.

“It’s definitely in the past had more damage. I guess it depends on who’s providing the candy [and] how much senators are going into it,” Ms. Skvarla said. “We put a different liner inside the desk because we didn’t want gooey candy inside the desk drawer.”

Candy turns out to be a recurring problem for the curators.

During his 13-hour filibuster in March to protest U.S. drone policy, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, snacked on candy at his desk.

Afterward, Ms. Skvarla’s phone was ringing.

“We were told, ‘Can you come check out the desk because Rand Paul has just spent hours doing a filibuster and he was eating at his desk?’” she said.