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It’s all down hill in Congress as it eyes lifting Capitol Hill sledding ban

Bashon Mann and his children sled down a hill at the Capitol as snow falls in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. A provision in a spending bill that Congress will vote on this week would lift a ban on sledding on the Capitol grounds.
Bashon Mann and his children sled down a hill at the Capitol as snow falls in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. A provision in a spending bill that Congress will vote on this week would lift a ban on sledding on the Capitol grounds. AP

It won’t be tough-sledding on Capitol Hill anymore. Not when it snows, anyway.

That’s because House lawmakers tucked a provision into the $1.1 trillion government spending bill to ease a ban on sledding down the slopes of the Capitol, a magnet for neighborhood children when the flakes fall in Washington.

Children committed acts of civil disobedience – and fun – last winter when they took to sled, discs, trays, or whatever they could find, and hurled themselves down the hill after snow storms.

The provision extends an earlier measure appropriators introduced in April that urged the Capitol Police not to enforce the no-sled zone.

The police had argued that the ban, a legacy of the 1800s, was necessary for security reasons.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the massive spending bill, which would avoid a partial government shutdown, on Friday.

If Congress approves the spending bill and President Barack Obama signs it, all eager sledders have to do is wait for snow during a thus far unseasonably warm season.

Congress has extended its deadline to compromise on the budget before the government "shuts down." But when a government shutdown looms, the conflict is rarely about a "clash of values" — as McClatchy Bureau Editor Steven "Buzz" Thomma explains, i

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas

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