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'Advances in Technology,' Budget End House Page Program

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 8 2011

House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday announced that the House page program will be shut down.

Here's The Hill's take:

The program, which has been associated with lawmaker scandals throughout its nearly 200 years in existence, gives 16-year old students the opportunity to work and attend high school in Congress for a semester during their junior year, or for several weeks during the summer.

Citing the "prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology," Boehner and Pelosi wrote that "this decision was not easy, but it is necessary."

In a statement on Boehner's website, he and Pelosi cite an independent review that found that pages are no longer frantically shuttling documents between the Capitol and House office building, "since most documents are now transmitted electronically."

When pages once ferried phone messages to lawmakers on the House floor, they're now sitting idle — as members can now be reached via their cellphones and iPads. Meanwhile, the costs of the program remained high, according to the Boehner press release — between $69,000 and $80,000 per page per school year, as a rough estimate.