Hart Senate Office Building
The Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building is the third U. S. Senate office building, is located on 2nd Street NE between Constitution Avenue NE and C Street NE in Washington, D. C. in the United States. Construction began in January 1975, it was first occupied in November 1982. Rising construction costs plagued the building, creating several scandals; the structure is named for Philip Hart. Accessed via a spur of the United States Capitol Subway System, the building features a nine-story atrium dominated by massive artwork, a large Central Hearing Facility which provides television facilities as well as extensive seating; the Dirksen Senate Office Building was intended to occupy the entire block bounded by 1st Street NE, Constitution Avenue NE, 2nd Street NE, C Street NE. However, due to the resource and financial demands of the Korean War, the building was scaled back and occupied only the western half of this area. In 1969, Congress voted to acquire the eastern half of the block for a "New Senate Office Building".
The Senate intended only to build a $21 million underground parking garage here. That effort was approved in June 1971, but in May 1972, the Subcommittee on Buildings of the Senate Committee on Public Works approved a plan to construct the New Senate Office Building above the parking garage. The building's cost was estimated at $48 million in June 1972; the full Senate approved the building plan in September 1972, but by the building's estimated cost had risen to $53.5 million. In April 1973, the Architect of the Capitol awarded the architectural design contract to John Carl Warnecke, a nationally prominent architect working in the District of Columbia who had helped save Lafayette Square and designed the John F. Kennedy grave site. Warnecke's design for the building was approved by the Senate Committee on Public Works on August 8, 1974. Warnecke was given just two weeks to come up with the cost estimate, which the Architect of the Capitol claimed was far too little time to generate an accurate cost forecast.
By the end of the year, the estimated cost of construction had risen to $69 million. Ground for the new structure was broken in January 1975, by the time ground clearance began in April the building's cost had risen to $84 million; the poor and uneven condition of the soil at the site caused delays in the excavation, major cost increases. When the foundations were finished, it was discovered that many of the anchoring bolts were misaligned and had to be replaced; this added extensive new costs to the project. On August 30, 1976, the Senate voted to name the new office building the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building in honor of retiring Senator Philip Hart. Hart died on December 26, 1976, of melanoma, having declined to run for reelection the previous November. By August 1978, actual construction costs were now $85 million and were expected to top $122 million; the Senate approved a plan to spend another $54 million on the structure, cap costs at $135 million. The House approved this plan, but when constituents bitterly complained, the House reversed itself on both counts.
By 1979, construction estimates had soared to $179 million, the General Accounting Office said it would rise to $230 million without changes. In July 1979, the Senate agreed to cap costs at $137.7 million after an acrimonious three-hour debate during which some senators suggested the building be torn down. The Architect of the Capitol ordered changes in the design to keep construction costs under the $137.7 million cap. These included elimination of a penthouse-level dining room, $906,000 in furnishings for an interior gymnasium, oak paneling for each senator's office, dimmer switches for lights, a $400,000 art gallery, $227,000 in carpeting for auxiliary space, $167,700 for vertical blinds, $1.2 million for finishes and furnishings for a large central hearing room with hidden multimedia bays. The Hart Senate Office Building was completed in September 1982 at a cost of $137.7 million. The Architect of the Capitol argued that the higher costs of the Hart Senate Office building were due to the unexpected excavation issues, the foundation construction errors, Senate-ordered changes, high inflation, some mismanagement of the construction project.
Architect of the Capitol George M. White argued the construction cost was a reasonable $110 per square foot. Architect John Carl Warnecke defended the building's cost, noting that it doubled in size, that building costs in the District of Columbia leapt 76 percent during its erection. Warnecke dismissed allegations about Senate-ordered changes, saying these increased costs just 2 percent, said that construction alone was just $107 million, he argued that excellent construction management held inflation in construction costs to just 67 percent, that the building was erected at a cost of $97 per square foot, "well below the costs of any other major public building built in the District during that period." However, the American Institute of Architects said commercial co
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
Russell Senate Office Building
The Russell Senate Office Building is the oldest of the United States Senate office buildings. Designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, it was built from 1903 to 1908 and opened in 1909, it was named for former Senator Richard Russell Jr. from Georgia in 1972. It occupies a site north of the Capitol bounded by Constitution Avenue, First Street, Delaware Avenue, C Street N. E.. The first congressional office building was constructed after the turn of the 20th century to relieve overcrowding in the United States Capitol. Members who wanted office space had to rent quarters or borrow space in committee rooms. In March 1901 Congress authorized Architect of the Capitol Edward Clark to draw plans for fireproof office buildings adjacent to the Capitol grounds. In March 1903 the acquisition of sites and construction of the buildings were authorized, the Senate Office Building Commission selected a site. In April 1904, the prominent New York City architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings was retained.
John Carrère took charge of the Senate Office Building project, while Thomas Hastings oversaw the construction of an identical office building for the United States House of Representatives. Their Beaux Arts designs were restrained. Architecturally, their elevations are divided into a rusticated base and a colonnade with an entablature and balustrade; the Constitution Ave. side is a quasi replica of the easternmost façade of the Palais du Louvre in Paris. The colonnades, with 34 Doric columns that face the Capitol, are echoed by pilasters on the sides of the buildings. Both buildings are faced with limestone. Modern for their time, they included such facilities as forced-air ventilation systems, steam heat, individual lavatories with hot and cold running water and ice water and electricity. Both are connected to the Capitol by underground passages. There were 98 suites and eight committee rooms in the Russell Building. Of special architectural interest is the rotunda. Eighteen Corinthian columns support an entablature and a coffered dome, whose glazed oculus floods the rotunda with sunlight.
Twin marble staircases lead from the rotunda to an imposing Caucus Room, which features Corinthian pilasters, a full entablature, a richly detailed ceiling. This space has been used for many hearings on subjects of national significance, including the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic hearings; the rotunda contains a statue of Russell by sculptor Frederick Hart. The Russell Building was occupied in 1909 by the Senate of the 61st Congress; the growth of staff and committees in the twenty years following its completion resulted in the addition of a fourth side, the First Street Wing, to the U-shaped building. Nathan C. Wyeth and Francis P. Sullivan were the consulting architects for the new wing, completed in 1933; the building received extensive pop culture visual cachet in the 1970s when film footage of the southwest corner was used to represent the headquarters of the fictional OSI organization in the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on August 25, 2018, that he would introduce a resolution to rename the building after Senator John McCain from Arizona, who died of brain cancer earlier that day.
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry United States Senate Committee on Armed Services United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Hart Senate Office Building Dirksen Senate Office Building
A blue slip or blue-slipping is one of two different legislative procedures in the United States Congress. In the House, it is the rejection slip given to tax and spending bills sent to it by the Senate that did not originate in the House in the first place, per the House's interpretation of the Origination Clause. In the Senate, it is the slip on which the Senators from the state of residence of a federal judicial nominee gives an opinion on the nominee; the Origination Clause of the United States Constitution provides that the House of Representatives has exclusive authority to introduce bills raising revenue: "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." As such, the House considers itself to be the only proper venue to originate any bills appropriating revenue. The Senate can circumvent this requirement by substituting the text of any bill passed by the House with the text of a revenue bill. When, in the opinion of the House of Representatives, a Senate-introduced bill that raises revenue or appropriates money is passed by the Senate and sent to the House for its consideration, the House places a blue slip on the legislation that notes the House's constitutional prerogative and returns it to the Senate without taking further action.
This blue-slipping procedure, done by an order of the House, is completed to enforce its interpretation that the House is the sole body to introduce revenue or appropriations legislation. The failure of the House to consider the legislation means; this tactic is of great use to the House and, as a practical matter, the Senate does not introduce tax or revenue measures to avoid a blue slip. In the Senate, a blue slip is an opinion written by a Senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee resides. Both senators from a nominee's state are sent a blue slip in which they may submit a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a nominee, they may choose not to return a blue slip. The Senate Judiciary Committee takes blue slips into consideration when deciding whether or not to recommend that the Senate confirm a nominee. A report issued by the Congressional Research Service in 2003 defines six periods in the use of the blue slip by the Senate: "From 1917 through 1955: The blue-slip policy allowed home-state Senators to state their objections but committee action to move forward on a nomination.
If a Senator objected to his/her home-state nominee, the committee would report the nominee adversely to the Senate, where the contesting Senator would have the option of stating his/her objections to the nominee before the Senate would vote on confirmation. "From 1956 through 1978: A single home-state Senator could stop all committee action on a judicial nominee by either returning a negative blue slip or failing to return a blue slip to the committee. "From 1979 to mid-1989: A home-state Senator’s failure to return a blue slip would not prevent committee action on a nominee. "From mid-1989 through June 5, 2001: In a public letter on the committee’s blue-slip policy, the chairman wrote that one negative blue slip would be “a significant factor to be weighed” but would “not preclude consideration” of a nominee “unless the Administration has not consulted with both home state Senators.” The committee would take no action, regardless of presidential consultation, if both home-state Senators returned negative blue slips.
"From June 6, 2001, to 2003: The chairman’s blue-slip policy allowed movement on a judicial nominee only if both home-state Senators returned positive blue slips to the committee. If one home-state Senator returned a negative blue slip, no further action would be taken on the nominee. "2003-2007: A return of a negative blue slip by one or both home-state Senators does not prevent the committee from moving forward with the nomination — provided that the Administration has engaged in pre-nomination consultation with both of the home-state Senators." From 2007 to January 3, 2018: The chairman’s blue-slip policy allowed movement on a judicial nominee only if both home-state Senators returned positive blue slips to the committee. If one home-state Senator returned a negative blue slip, no further action would be taken on the nominee. January 3, 2018 - present: "The lack of two positive blue slips will not preclude a circuit-court nominee from receiving a hearing unless the White House failed to consult with home-state senators.
Hearings are unlikely for district court nominees without two positive blue slips." In October 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he believed blue slips should not prevent committee action on a nominee. In November 2017, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, announced that the committee would hold hearings for David Stras and Kyle Duncan. Stras' hearing was held up by Senator Al Franken's refusal to return the blue slip, while Duncan's hearing was held up by Senator John Neely Kennedy's indecision on his blue slip. Kennedy, consented to Duncan receiving a hearing. In February 2019, conservative attorney Eric Miller was confirmed to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals though neither of the two home-state senators returned blue slips. Senatorial courtesy "Judicial Nominations". U. S. Department of Justice. U. S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
The President pro tempore of the United States Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate, mandates that the Senate must choose a President pro tempore to act in the Vice President's absence. Unlike the Vice President, the President pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the President pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the Vice President's absence, the President pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore presides. S. Senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure. Since 1890, the most senior U. S. Senator in the majority party has been chosen to be President pro tempore and holds the office continuously until the election of another.
This tradition has been observed without interruption since 1949. Since the enactment of the current Presidential Succession Act in 1947, the president pro tempore is third in the line of succession to the presidency, after the vice president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and ahead of the Secretary of State; the current President pro tempore of the Senate is Iowa Republican Charles Grassley. Elected on January 3, 2019, he is the 91st person to serve in this office. Although the position is in some ways analogous to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the powers of the president pro tempore are far more limited. In the Senate, most power rests with party leaders and individual senators, but as the chamber's presiding officer, the president pro tempore is authorized to perform certain duties in the absence of the vice president, including ruling on points of order. Additionally, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the president pro tempore and the speaker are the two authorities to whom declarations must be transmitted that the president is unable to perform the duties of the office, or is able to resume doing so.
The president pro tempore is third in the line of presidential succession, following the vice president and the speaker, is one of the few members of Congress entitled to a full-time security detail. Additional duties include appointment of various congressional officers, certain commissions, advisory boards, committees and joint supervision of the congressional page school; the president pro tempore is the designated legal recipient of various reports to the Senate, including War Powers Act reports under which he or she, jointly with the speaker, may have the president call Congress back into session. The officeholder is an ex officio member of various commissions. With the secretary and sergeant at arms, the president pro tempore maintains order in Senate portions of the Capitol and Senate buildings; the office of president pro tempore was established by the Constitution of the United States in 1789. The first president pro tempore, John Langdon, was elected on April 6 the same year. Between 1792 and 1886, the president pro tempore was second in the line of presidential succession following the vice president and preceding the speaker.
Through 1891, the president pro tempore was appointed on an intermittent basis only, when the vice president was not present to preside over the Senate, or at the adjournment of a session of Congress. Langdon served four separate terms from 1789 to 1793. During the 4th Congress; when called upon to serve, they would preside, sign legislation, perform routine administrative tasks. Whenever the vice presidency was vacant, as it was on 10 occasions between 1812 and 1889, the office garnered heightened importance, for although he did not assume the vice presidency, the president pro tempore was next in line for the presidency. Before the ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in 1967, a vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled only by a regular election; when President Andrew Johnson, who had no vice president, was impeached and tried in 1868, Senate President pro tempore Benjamin Franklin Wade was next in line to the presidency. Wade's radicalism is thought by many historians to be a major reason why the Senate, which did not want to see Wade in the White House, acquitted Johnson.
The President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House were removed from the presidential line of succession in 1886. Both were restored to it in 1947, though this time with the president pro tempore following the speaker. William P. Frye served as President pro tempore from 1896 a tenure longer than anyone else, he resigned from the position due to ill health a couple of months before his death. Electing his successor proved difficult, as Senate Republicans in the majority, were split be
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
United States Senate chamber
The United States Senate Chamber is a room in the north wing of the United States Capitol that serves as the legislative chamber of the United States Senate, since January 4, 1859. The Senate first convened in its current meeting place after utilizing Federal Hall, Congress Hall, the Old Senate Chamber in the Capitol building for the same purpose; the chamber, designed by then-Architect of the Capitol Thomas Ustick Walter, is a rectangular two-story room with 100 individual desks, one per Senator, on a multi-tiered semicircular platform facing a central rostrum in the front of the room. The Senate floor itself is overlooked on all four sides by a gallery on the second floor; the Senate floor itself is 80 by 113 feet. The Senate convened, beginning in 1790, in a second-floor chamber in Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until moving into the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol building in 1800. From 1810 to 1859, the Senate utilized the Old Senate Chamber for legislative functions.
During this time, the Senate nearly doubled in size. In light of the increased size of both houses of congress, two new wings were added on to the United States Capitol. Beginning in 1851, the Capitol underwent several expansions including the new wings and their respective chambers, as well as a new dome. In addition to expanding the space available for the Senate's use, the chamber's designers were concerned that the room have acoustical and line-of-sight qualities comparable to those of a theater; the construction of the chamber began in 1851 and continued until senators began utilizing the room for legislative business in 1859. Shortly after beginning to utilize the chamber, senators noted the poor acoustic qualities, the sounds created by rain as it hit the glass-paneled ceiling, uncomfortable drafts of air throughout the room; the general design of the chamber, a rectangular, two-story room in the center of the Capitol's north wing, includes 100 individual desks on a tiered platform. This platform, semi-circular in shape, faces a raised rostrum in the front of the room.
On all four sides of the chamber's second level, a visitor's gallery overlooks the Senate floor. The Senate first allowed visitors to observe proceedings in 1795; the galleries for observing the Senate, including a women's gallery, became popular destinations for tourists and residents alike throughout the nineteenth century. Above the presiding officer's desk at the rostrum was the press gallery. Here, reporters are able to cover the proceedings of the Senate; because of the chamber's theater-like qualities and size, numerous requests were made and fulfilled to use the chamber for functions other than that of legislation. In 1863, the chamber was used for a presentation of a narrative poem about a Union Army soldier, William Scott, who had fallen asleep at his post and was sentenced to be shot. Among the audience for the performance was the then-President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who had pardoned the sentinel months earlier. Senators grew tired of the competition for the chamber's usage and allowed the final non-legislative usage of the chamber, a lecture on post-Civil War reconstruction, before enacting a rule dictating that the chamber would not be used for any purpose other than that of the United States Senate.
In 1923, practicing physician and former commissioner of the New York City Board of Health Royal Copeland began his first term in the Senate. He noted the poor quality of the air in the chamber, arguing that the premature deaths of 34 serving senators over the previous 12 years were caused by the overly hot and poorly humidified air, which he blamed for the spread of common illnesses during the winter and the general discomfort of the chamber during the summer. In June 1924, the Senate voted to adopt a measure by Copeland to improve the "living conditions of the Senate Chamber." Carrere & Hastings, the architectural firm that had designed the Russell Senate Office Building, submitted a plan for the improvements, to include removing interior walls and lowering the ceiling, subsequently approved by the Senate on May 11, 1928. On May 16, Copeland requested the indefinite postponement of his proposal in light of a new ventilation system that received the endorsement of experts in public health.
The "manufactured weather" ventilation system, designed by Carrier Corporation, was completed in 1929 - the Senate's first air conditioning system. In 1949-1950, the Senate Chamber underwent a reconstruction that involved the removal of the skylight and a redesign of the room's walls. In place of the chamber's original cast-iron pilasters, newer red Levanto marble pilasters were installed; the wooden rostrum was replaced with a larger version made of marble. The iron and glass ceiling, including the skylight, was replaced with a ceiling of stainless steel and plaster; this redesign, in addition to improving the acoustic properties of the room, was to update the room's mid-nineteenth century decor, out of date. Rule IV of the Senate prohibits the taking of photographs inside the Senate Chamber; the Senate suspended this rule on September 24, 1963, to take the first official photograph of the Senate. During the same year, National Geographic requested permission to take the first official photograph of the Senate while in session for the organization's illustrated book on Congress, We, the People.
Each two-year session of the United States Congress, the Photographic Studio of the Senate is charged with taking the official photo of the Senate. Beginning in 1979, the House of Representatives began televising coverage of its daily sessions live on the network C-SPAN. Senators opposed televised cover