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Feinstein Expects Inauguration Scalping Bill to Pass This Week

As promised, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, introduced legislation today to criminalize the sale of tickets to the historic event on Jan. 20.

In a brief Senate floor speech this afternoon, Feinstein said the measure would make it a misdemeanor to scalp coveted tickets to President-elect Obama's swearing-in ceremony. Anyone caught doing so faces a fine, imprisonment for up to one year or both, she said.

Tickets to the inauguration are in such wildly high demand that phones in congressional offices, which hand out the tickets free of charge, are ringing incessantly. Though they're supposed to be free, inauguration tickets have been seen advertised on Craigslist, eBay and other sites for huge sums. EBay and its ticket-selling site StubHub have now agreed to prohibit the sale of inauguration tickets on their auction sites, prompting Feinstein to commend them and thank them from the Senate floor.

Feinstein said she hopes Congress will pass the legislation this week during the lame-duck session. She said she hopes Republicans will join the Democratic leadership in clearing the bill for speedy consideration.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  November 17, 2008; 1:48 PM ET
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Why is this getting attention that should be given to more important matters ?

Posted by: BrianX9 | November 17, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad that all the real problems this country has been facing have been solved so the congress can work on this. I guess the notion of letting the market allocate scarce resources really is offensive to our government.

Posted by: washpost4 | November 17, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

a year in prison for scalping a ticket? That's fascism. But wait--aren't there lots and lots of people/organizations (i.e. in the media) totally capitalizing on this "historic election"?

Posted by: wwelch000 | November 18, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

See, this is the only downside of Obama's victory: devout liberals find it so hard to take even a bit of pleasure in the sheer spectacle of human behavior.

Posted by: semperfido | November 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

almost every article i read someone posts "why is this here when there are more important matters?" that's such an annoying criticism. this is called "the sleuth." it's all about gossip, that's the point. hard news is printed elsewhere in the paper.

plus, i appreciate a paper reporting on new laws! it's not even unimportant!

and what other important matters are you even referring to that aren't being covered by the post?

Posted by: moniker3 | November 19, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

If the Economy is as bad as the Democrats proclaim how can people be offered a four day stay at a Washington Hotel for the inaguration for $40,000. It will be interesting to see how many accept this offer. Also, how many will pay at least $600.00 to even go to Washington. As usual the economy always decline right before a major election especially when the Republican are in office but booms after the election. I expect Obama will follow Clinton's agenda of taking $83 BILLION dollars per year from America's defense and military budgets for their Socialistic programs.

Posted by: jrbreslin1 | November 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if this bill would apply to a Congressman or Senator if their staff scalps tickets to raise money for their bosses. Who will investigate this particular area since Feinstein stated tickets are handed out from their offices.

Posted by: jrbreslin1 | November 19, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Diane Feinstein actually doing something? Amazing! This'll be the first time, that I know of, since she became a senator (God knows how long ago that's been). She calls herself a "blue dog" Democrat; whatever that means. Actually she's been what I call a "flouncy trouncy" senator, able to dress nicely, and throw a good party, but unable to acomplish one substantive thing; her "party for Clinton/Obama after the Dem. primary notwithstanding. She's about as vacuuous as Caribou Barbie.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | November 20, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

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