MARYLAND's Sen. Paul Sarbanes was among seven senators who were trapped on Congress' new, state-of-the-art subway system for several minutes on March 9, forcing the Republican leadership to hold open a vote to table an amendment, according to Roll Call, a newspaper that covers the Hill.
According to the paper, Mr. Sarbanes and four other senators were meeting in his office when bells rang, signaling a roll call vote.
The group ran to catch a subway car in the Hart Building. Shortly after they boarded the train, it stalled with its doors locked closed. The senators eventually were freed and walked the rest of the way to the floor on foot.
The Capitol Police contacted the Republican leaders to notify them of the delay, the paper reported. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the Republicans held the vote open to accommodate the senators.
The subway system, which cost taxpayers $18 million, was just opened late last year. The paper reports that there have been many such problems with the new system. "A knowledgeable source" estimated that the subway stops temporarily several times a week, according to Roll Call.
The senators in Mr. Sarbanes' meeting were: Democrats Christopher Dodd (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), and John Kerry (Mass.). Also aboard the stalled train were: Senators Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, who were not at the meeting.