Nampa High students find a way around Capitol, Library of Congress closures

October 4, 2013 

The 10 Nampa High School students touring Washington, D.C., this week found much of the nation's capital closed to the public because of the federal government shutdown.

Even so, they were able to tour the Capitol and visit the Library of Congress Friday when they joined up with an escort with special access.

When U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador heard the students and teachers Camille Levi and Nicole Dodge were traveling to Washington despite the shutdown, he arranged to meet with them and give them a special tour, Labrador spokesman Todd Winer said.

"Everyone had a good time and the congressman really enjoyed it, too," Winer said. (Labrador) wanted us to go the extra mile to make sure they had a good experience."

The Idaho Republican escorted the student to the Speaker's Balcony, when Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walked in. He chatted with the students for several minutes.

"That was an unexpected part of the tour," Winer said. "He just happened to come in at the time we were there."

Labrador also took the Nampa students and teachers to lunch. They went to the Good Stuff Eatery, a restaurant located a few blocks from the Capitol and known for its burgers, Winer said.

Altogether, the tour and lunch lasted about three hours.

The students left Idaho for Washington on Tuesday, a day after the federal government partially shut down because Congress failed to pass a resolution that would allow continued funding of agencies.

Labrador has blamed the Democratic majority in the Senate for failing to approve a continuing resolution passed by the Republican-led House to keep the government running. The Republican measure contained anti-Obamacare provisions rejected by the Senate.

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