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By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
Topic - Guy Gugliotta
Congress will cover the Capitol's dome in scaffolding in November as part of a two-year restoration to fix more than 1,000 cracks that have developed over the decades, the building's administrators said Tuesday.
Most visitors to Washington take the Capitol dome for granted. It is a graceful structure, with a statue on top that - because of its elevation - defies close examination. All in all, the Capitol seems less interesting than the White House.
By 1850, Mr. Gugliotta, a longtime reporter for The Washington Post, writes, "walls were cracking, roofs sagged, timbers rotted. The Senate sweltered in the summer but was so cold in winter that the inhabitants wrapped themselves in quilts and blankets."
For him, Mr. Gugliotta writes, "the Capitol was less a meeting hall than a cathedral - an enduring and unforgettable monument to the greatness, not only of God and the Republic, but also of Montgomery C. Meigs."