Due to a special Joint Meeting of Congress taking place in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 3, the U.S. Capitol will be closed to tours until approximately 12:30 p.m. on that day. The Capitol Visitor Center will remain open throughout the day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and guided tours of the Capitol Visitor Center will be available while the Capitol is closed.

The Senate Today

As the Senate moved into the 21st century, it exhibited much continuity with the institution created two centuries earlier. Yet some things had changed. Senate proceedings in the chamber and in the hearing rooms were now televised, giving the public unprecedented access. Electronic mail and the Internet provided nearly instantaneous communication between senators and their constituents. The membership of the Senate, like the population of the nation, grew more diverse with more women and minorities winning elections. The election of 2000 caused a rare tie between the parties in the Senate, beginning an era of close party divisions, frequent party turnover, and shorter tenures for Senate leaders. Throughout all of this change, senators continue to promote the nation’s goals and aspirations, while meeting the demands of security in a troubled world.