The Washington Times - January 19, 2009, 04:01PM

With the possibility of an all-time record crowd attending the inauguration, ticket holders are worried of just making it on time.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has issued its last release, reminding guests of the screening cutoff at 11:30 a.m. Late arrivals will not be allowed entrance.

Rebekah Musgrove, a Capitol Hill resident who has an inaugural ticket, said her Hill staff co-workers who live in Northern Virginia are trying to figure out the easiest way to the ceremony.

She has heard of at least 15 staffers staying overnight at their offices in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and many others are parking their cars at the Senate parking lot Monday night.

“I heard some are taking their futons into work… . If I do, I will probably bring an air mattress or sleep on the floor. I probably wouldn’t get a good night’s sleep,” she said.

“I don’t think people really know what to expect. There’s just no way of really knowing,” she said.

However, there are strict rules for Hill staffers about staying overnight in congressional offices, said a source in the House sergeant at arms’ office.

Eva Malecki, communications officer in the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, wrote in an e-mail of what she knows:

“I understand there are a number of staff from Members’ offices who are staying overnight as well as staff from support Agencies such as ours. However, I do not have any specific numbers of those who are. You would have to check with each Members’ office to get a head count.”

Restaurant Associates is offering boxed meals for $9.95 to Senate staffers who needed to stay overnight and were qualified — but only 14 had signed up.


“It seems like what most people are doing at the House and Senate is arriving at 1 or 2 a.m.,” said Aiden Murphy, vice president of Restaurant Associates at its Washington office.

He said he anticipates a larger crowd at 6 a.m. for the continental breakfast buffet at both the House and Senate cafeterias.