Behind closed doors and in press-filled hallways, Washington Post photojournalist Melina Mara was able to capture meetings between lawmakers that defined the budget impasse.

Mara’s photos also show us a side of Capitol Hill seldom seen by the public: The intensity of meetings inside House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office, Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) stepping outside for a breath of fresh air on his balcony and a police officer reflecting on the “haves” and “have-nots” after not being paid for 15 days.

Washington Post photojournalist Melina Mara gives you a rare, behind-the-scenes look of the government shutdown as lawmakers maneuvered to make deals and end the sixteen-day stalemate. (The Washington Post)

With so many reporters inside the Capitol, Mara said, “You have to wonder, is this for show?”

But in the case of such photos as the one showing Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff, Nadeam Elshami, exchanging words with Senate majority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in a crowded hallway, “It was real work being done and real work getting done.”

Watch the full segment from “In Play.”

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