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Outgoing Congress Members Pack Up Before The Holidays

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Members of Congress who lost this year are spending their time packing up their offices and archiving their careers here in Washington.

The question for many outgoing Democrats was what to do with decades of official congressional papers. It's a hectic process to say the least. South Carolina's Rep. John Spratt (D), who is the outgoing chair of the Budget Committee, is shipping his materials to a local library.

"We had them box them up, ship them to them. But I have the confidence and satisfaction of knowing they're in good hands," Spratt says.

Materials can stay at a National Archives warehouse in Suitland, Md., for 60 days. But many forego that and ship their papers directly to universities, museums and libraries back home. Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) says the process has been a tad random.

"It was fun. It was fun. And then I'm terrible because I save Christmas cards. So I had 12 years worth of Christmas cards to go through, which was wonderful because I watched my friends children grow up all over again," Lincoln says.

Committee records stay with the National Archives, but all the rest of their documents are personal property.


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