Free hugs offered on Capitol Hill

“Free hugs,” the five students yelled as lawmakers entered and left the Capitol building for votes as amused U.S. Capitol Police watched nearby. (They were offered hugs too.)

“I got a free hug,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), who got one both on her way in and out.

Other lawmakers, such as Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), offered fist bumps instead.

Several male lawmakers declined the offers, explaining they were saving hugs for their wives.

“I'm gonna hug my wife -- hopefully soon,” said Rep. Tim Griffith (R-Ark.).

But Reps. Mark Sanford (S-S.C.), Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Pat Quigley (D-Ill.) all partook. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) even stopped her car to get out and get one.

The students, who are in town for a student government conference, were most excited to see their hometown lawmaker Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who took a group hug and told them “keep up the good work.”

The students said after Thursday's shooting incident, they thought the lawmakers could use the hugs.

“You guys gotta come here more often,” Rep. Xavier Beccerra (D-Calif.) told them.

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