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Flowers on Capitol Hill Get Noticed, Watched

Times Staff Writer

With the nation on a higher stage of alert for terrorism, it’s been jittery enough on Capitol Hill.

But on Valentine’s Day, the Capitol Police issued an unusual notice to workers: no flower deliveries directly to lawmakers’ offices.

“If you are contacted by a delivery person who wants to deliver cut flowers, please instruct the delivery person to meet you” at a trailer where deliveries of packages have been screened under a policy instituted after the Sept. 11 attacks and Capitol Hill’s exposure to anthrax a month later.

“You must meet the delivery person, inspect the flowers, and bring the flowers into the Senate Office complex yourself,” the memo said. “Under no circumstances should you accept delivery of any type of flower arrangement if you do not know the sender.”

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Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) took the Senate floor Friday in an effort to urge people to remain calm but alert. “We all feel the stress,” he said.

Though Democrats have accused the Republican-controlled Congress of not spending enough on homeland defense, Frist insisted that the government is responding aggressively.

“Terrorists will have won when they can so intimidate us that we stop performing our most basic duties and responsibilities. Clearly, they have not.”

He added, defiantly: “Nor will they.”


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