CBSN

Get In Line Act Gets Second Chance

When freshman Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) arrived on Capitol Hill, she noticed the random people standing in hallways, holding signs with names on them.

Other than at an airport, that’s not a normal sight. And her aide let her know who they were: “line standers,” folks paid by lobbyists to stand in line outside a hearing to guarantee a seat. When former Vice President Al Gore came to testify, the standers stood outside all night long. 

“She was kind of taken aback,” said spokeswoman Maria Speiser. “To an outsider, it seems not quite right. Many insiders who’ve been around awhile see it as just the way it works around here.”

Not for much longer, if McCaskill has her way. In October, she introduced a bill to end the standing around. It hasn’t gone anywhere. So, this week she attached it as an amendment a bill to reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The amendment, according to the text, is referred to as the Get in Line Act.