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Congress Discontinues Festival Seating After Insurance-Deregulation-Bill Stampede

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Congress Discontinues Festival Seating After Insurance-Deregulation-Bill Stampede

WASHINGTON, DC—Reacting to the Sept. 7 stampede in which 18 members of the House of Representatives were trampled to death in a mad dash to get good seats for a debate and vote on insurance-deregulation bill H.R. 1627, Congress announced Monday that it will end its longtime "festival seating" policy. "Regrettably, there is no way to turn back the clock and prevent the senseless loss of these representatives," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert told reporters. "But we can take steps to ensure that horrible tragedies like this never happen again." In the future, Hastert said, congressmen will purchase tickets with preassigned seat numbers and be required to sit in that seat.

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