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House Page Program, Which Mark Foley Thought Was a Dating Service, Comes to an End

House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today that they're eliminating the House page program, which brought in high school kids to do administrative work for the House.

Pages were once "stretched to the limit" in their work delivering packages and documents between offices at Capitol Hill as well as conveying phone messages but have become a bit less useful since everything is done electronically, according to a statement from Boehner and Pelosi. The representatives say the program cost the government $5 million a year.

The page program was perhaps most famously used as a way for Florida's own former Rep. Mark Foley to meet teenaged boys to send sexually explicit emails and instant messages, as well as reportedly having sex with a couple of them once they turned 18.

One of those instant-message conversations included Foley asking a former page how he likes to masturbate and later asking him to "get a ruler and measure it for me." Upon the page's response, Foley said it was "beautiful."

There was a previous sex scandal between House members and pages in 1983 and another controversy in which 11 pages were fired after being caught with weed.

The page program also included things not related to creepy congressman, so Boehner and Pelosi say they ordered the House historian to make an "official history" of the pages program -- which may be better off without the Foley chapter.

"We have great appreciation for the unique role that Pages have played in the history and traditions of the House of Representatives," the statement says. "This decision was not easy, but it is necessary due to the prohibitive cost of the program and advances in technology that have rendered most Page-provided services no longer essential to the smooth functioning of the House."

The Senate's page program will not be ending.


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