Even Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) couldn’t help D.C. sledders during this snowstorm.
U.S. Capitol Police say it will enforce the Capitol Hill sledding ban in Thursday’s snowstorm, despite pleas from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and support from other congressional leaders to just let the kids have fun.
Norton wrote a letter to U.S. Capitol Board Chairman Frank Larkin Wednesday requesting a four-day waiver from the sledding ban so families could partake in the tradition after this latest snowstorm hits the region. She even got some digital support from Reid.
But police say they’re responsible for enforcing “Capitol Traffic Regulations,” which specifically state “no person shall coast or slide a sled within Capitol Grounds.”
“I am deeply disappointed with the U.S. Capitol Police Board decision to refuse my request for a waiver of the sledding ban on Capitol Grounds, despite the spontaneous outpouring from residents, and even my colleagues in Congress, in favor of the waiver,” Norton wrote in a statement Wednesday night.
Norton, however, said she was “undaunted” and would continue fighting.
“I will follow up with the Board urging them to direct officers, as they have for years now, not to enforce this arcane regulation during the four-day period following tomorrow’s snowstorm.”
Sledding has been banned on the Capitol grounds for security reasons since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But, as Norton noted in her release, officials have typically not enforced this policy. Last month, however, officials started enforcing the ban, reportedly because a congressional grump complained. Norton reached out to Larkin then with little success. Former senator Chris Dodd was able to muscle a waiver back in 2010 so he could take his daughters sledding.
For now D.C. snow adventurers, you might want to look for another sledding spot. But if you’re looking for some sledding activism, a “sled-in” is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday on the Capitol grounds.