Secret Hideaways for Senators in the Capitol

When the new visitors center opens every senator will have a hideaway.

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It's hard to find a more exclusive club than the U.S. Senate, but we have. And it's in the Senate: the 50 to 70 members who have secret "hideaways" in little Capitol offices where they can huddle with supporters or snooze without having to schlep back to their main offices across the street. Well, there's good news for the rest of the mostly junior senators. When the new Capitol Visitors Center opens in the front of the Capitol, space will be freed up for them. "Every senator," says an official, "will have a hideaway." The center opens at the end of the year, and preliminary plans are already underway for what could be a historic and symbolic event next January 20. Should Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency and bad weather nixes the outdoor inauguration, the swearing-in of the first African-American president will take place in the new Emancipation Hall.