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.
Mary Ann Akers
November 17, 2008; 1:48 PM ET
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