Snow Sledding Wins Support on Capitol Hill

A committee vote on Thursday could make snow days a little more fun.

Children ride sleds down a hill on the West Lawn of the US Capitol on March 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. Sledding has officially been banned from the Capitol grounds since the 9/11 attacks. An impromtu 'sled in' showed up on social media calling for civil disobedience to protest the ban.

Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP

Washington children may finally get to sled on one of the District's best hills in the full light of the law, thanks to an amendment the House Appropriations Committee approved Thursday along with the 2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill. 

Sledding on the Hill was banned after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 prompted increased security.

Representative Sam Farr, a California Democrat, first wrote the amendment's language, which instructs Capitol Police to "forebear" enforcement of the law "when encountering snow sledders on the grounds." It was included in an amendment submitted to the bill report by Representative Tom Graves, a Republican from Georgia, and could up the pressure on the police from the committee that provides their pay.

On March 5, one of the last snowy days of the year, children rebelled and stormed the Hill with sleds in hand over the warning of Capitol police, according to Washington media reports. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s delegate to Congress, had asked U.S. Capitol Police Board Chairman Frank Larkin to waive the rule but was denied.

The bill is headed to the House floor. 

Erik Wasson contributed to this report.

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