House Speaker's office: 'For the Record!' party no longer on the record

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USHCS) found itself in a slightly awkward spot on Wednesday when it was forced to disinvite the media to a "For the Record!" reception next week for new members of Congress.

In an email to ITK, a spokeswoman for the USCHS said, "The Office of the Speaker has requested the press not be admitted to the event listed below. Please note this is not a request from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society."

The move marks the first time that a USCHS event in Statuary Hall will be closed to the media.

"All our events in the past held in Statuary Hall have been open to the press," the spokeswoman later said. As for the motivation behind the move, she said, "I was not given a reason."

The media blackout is especially odd given that one of the main goals of the event is to record the "thoughts and experiences" of new members for posterity.  According to the invitation sent to ITK by the historical society, a special area will be set up in Statuary Hall where "members may individually share personal stories about … a memorable 'first' in a one-minute statement.  A photo of the member and the statement will be posted on the USCHS web site. USCHS will also send copies of the historic 'first' to be shared with constituents and visitors to the Member’s web site."

That seems like an awful lot of sharing and for the record, ITK is disappointed she can't sit in.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declined to comment on the policy reversal.

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