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Helping to Ensure the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens

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Theresa M. Michele, M.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products, discusses the changing pattern of sunscreen use and the need for additional safety data to support sunscreen active ingredients seeking to be included in the (currently stayed) over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen monograph.

Theresa M. Michele, M.D.

Changing use of sunscreens

Sunscreens are extensively used by American consumers to help prevent sunburn, and certain sunscreens also help reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging caused by the sun when used as directed with other sun protection measures. When sunscreens first came on the market, they were used only occasionally at the beach and often as tanning aids. Now, many authorities including dermatology societies, the Surgeon General and FDA, encourage people of all ages, ethnicities, and complexions to use sunscreens liberally and reapply frequently whenever they are out in the sun. In fact, FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommend that consumers use broad-spectrum sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more as directed and in conjunction with other sun-protective measures like seeking shade at peak hours and wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.

Evolving scientific knowledge

A number of scientific advances were responsible for the dramatic changes in sunscreen recommendations. Of course, the major discovery is that the sun actually causes radiation-induced damage to the skin. No less important is the knowledge that certain sunscreens—those that provide broad spectrum protection and an SPF value of 15 or more—can be an important tool for skin cancer prevention, when used as directed with other sun protection measures. In addition, there have been a number of technological advances in the formulation of sunscreens, allowing SPFs greater than 15 and greater broad-spectrum protection against ultraviolet rays (UV-A and UV-B rays). We've also learned, however, that sunscreen active ingredients may be absorbed through the skin, a significant discovery that needs to be considered when regulators evaluate the safety of long-term, regular sunscreen use.

Sunscreen regulation in the United States and abroad

Because sunscreens are intended for use to help prevent sunburn, and some are also labeled for use to decrease the risks of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun when used as directed with other sun protection measures, they are regulated as drugs in the United States. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in sunscreen active ingredients that have been used in products marketed in European countries but that cannot be legally included in sunscreens marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application (NDA). In Europe, sunscreens are regulated as cosmetics, not as drugs, and there are different requirements for marketing in these countries.

FDA’s work to modernize sunscreen regulation

The changing pattern of sunscreen use and evolving scientific knowledge all prompted FDA to solicit input from external experts regarding our safety evaluation of sunscreen active ingredients not currently listed in the stayed final sunscreen monograph. In September 2014, we held a meeting of the Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee to bring together medical and scientific experts from all parts of the field to help us determine the type and extent of safety testing we expect to be necessary for additional sunscreen active ingredients to be marketed under the OTC monograph system. At the meeting, FDA representatives explained that sunscreens should be viewed like any other nonprescription drug chronically administered to the skin, and laid out a proposed framework to describe the safety data we expect will be needed for these nonprescription sunscreen active ingredients to be marketed under the OTC monograph system. The advisory committee unanimously agreed that our proposed framework was a good starting point for sunscreen active ingredients. In fact, some committee members wanted us to go even further in terms of requesting additional data.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act

Shortly after the 2014 advisory committee meeting, Congress passed the SIA, creating a new process for the review of safety and effectiveness of nonprescription sunscreen active ingredients. FDA is currently using the SIA process to determine whether, and under what conditions of use, sunscreen products marketed in the United States may contain one or more of eight sunscreen active ingredients that are currently available more broadly in other countries but that can only be marketed in the United States with approved NDAs. To do so, FDA must review available scientific data for each active ingredient and conclude that the ingredient is generally recognized as safe and effective for nonprescription sunscreen use under a specified set of conditions. A misperception of the SIA is that it dictates exactly when and how fast sunscreens using these additional active ingredients will be available on the market without an NDA. The SIA gives FDA very specific timeframes for review of safety and effectiveness data once it is made available to the Agency, but these timelines are not triggered until a sponsor submits the necessary data. The SIA also does not change the safety and effectiveness standard that nonprescription sunscreen products marketed without approved NDAs must meet. We still must adhere to the scientific standards for evaluating the general recognition of safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products. FDA must rely on industry to provide adequate data to enable us to make positive general recognition of safety and effectiveness determinations.

During 2014 and 2015, FDA issued proposed sunscreen orders under the SIA for each of the active ingredients currently under consideration. In each case, FDA preliminarily determined that additional data are needed to support each active ingredient, and identified remaining data gaps for each active ingredient. To date, however, none of the recommended data has been submitted by active ingredient sponsors.

New guidance to address safety data gaps and other matters

As required by the SIA, today FDA is publishing two final guidances for industry pertaining to safety and effectiveness reviews for nonprescription sunscreen active ingredients evaluated under the SIA process. The first guidance describes FDA’s current thinking on the scientific testing needed to determine whether a sunscreen active ingredient is generally recognized as safe and effective for use in nonprescription sunscreens. The recommended studies are not novel and are consistent with our standard data requirements for NDA-approved topical drug products for chronic use. The second guidance is a procedural guidance describing the recommended content and format of the data submissions. Earlier this year FDA published two other SIA-required final guidances on other procedural aspects of the SIA process. All four final guidances reflect FDA’s consideration of public comments submitted on draft versions published in 2015.

As outlined in the final guidance on safety and effectiveness data, we are recommending skin safety studies to determine if products containing the active ingredient under review could cause irritation or rashes, or reactions when exposed to the sun. Because a sunscreen active ingredient must have a history of marketing—usually in other countries—to be considered under the SIA, there may be adverse event data available for the active ingredient, which we will also review. In addition, we are recommending studies to obtain pharmacology data in humans and animals to assess how much, if any, of the active ingredient is absorbed into the body when applied to skin. If the active ingredient is not absorbed above a specified amount, we ask for minimal data in terms of additional studies, such as looking at its effects on the skin of animals. If a sunscreen active ingredient is found to be absorbed past this minimal amount, then we will ask for additional animal data, including data concerning whether the active ingredient causes cancer, reproductive harm, or endocrine affects once it gets into the body.

For some time now, manufacturers have had to test the final formulation of each OTC sunscreen product for effectiveness, whether marketed under the monograph system or an NDA. For example, final formulation testing is required for sunscreens marketed under the OTC monograph system to establish the SPF provided by each final product. As described in more detail in the final guidance, we anticipate that additional safety-related final formulation testing may be necessary to establish that a sunscreen product, including its particular combination of active and inactive ingredients, is generally recognized as safe and effective . For this reason, the guidance describes the Agency’s current thinking about final formulation safety testing that we anticipate requiring in the future.

Next steps – going forward to ensure safety and effectiveness of sunscreens

FDA strongly recommends that consumers use broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or more in conjunction with other sun-protective measures, including staying out of the sun at peak times, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.

FDA encourages industry to take the final safety and effectiveness guidance into consideration as they work on studies to address the safety data gaps for each of their sunscreen active ingredients being evaluated under the SIA. We also encourage sponsors to come in and talk to us so that we can address any questions they may have regarding these studies or the guidances.

We recognize that sunscreens are used very broadly by the whole population, even on children as young as 6 months of age. FDA will continue to work with industry and public health stakeholders to help ensure that the sunscreens consumers use on themselves and their families are safe and effective for daily use over a lifetime in all different populations. Recognizing the public health benefits of sunscreen use, we are committed to doing our part to provide American consumers with additional options for safe and effective sunscreen ingredients.

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Dr. Michele joined FDA in 2007 as a medical officer in CDER’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products. She currently serves as Director of CDER’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. Dr. Michele received her medical degree at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and completed her residency at the Osler Medical Service at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital, as well as a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. Before coming to FDA, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a leader in clinical aspects of drug development planning and implementation, covering pulmonary medicine and several other therapeutic areas.

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Gunman ‘was living out of the gym bag,’ former Alexandria mayor says

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Former Alexandria mayor Bill Euille said he talked with alleged shooter James T. Hodgkinson nearly every morning for the past month and a half and even tried to help him find a job after he realized that the man was living out of his gym bag.

Euille (D), the city’s first African American mayor who lost a reelection bid last year, said that when he went to work out at the local YMCA between 7 and 7:30 a.m. each day, he usually saw Hodgkinson showering after his own workout. Euille’s habit is to work out, then go to the Y’s lobby and have coffee and read his phone. Hodgkinson was always there, on his laptop.

They began talking after Hodgkinson heard people greeting Euille as “mayor.” They never talked about political issues, but when the lobby television would show some political news and others would comment about President Trump, “he indicated he agreed with us,” Euille said.

“After the first or second week, he asked about good places to eat … within walking distance,” Euille said. “ A long weekend was coming up and he asked what was going on in town. …. That was the type of conversation we had.”

When Hodgkinson asked about available jobs, Euille, a general contractor, asked about his skills and learned that he was a home inspector. But when he forwarded some possibilities, Hodgkinson said he didn’t have a bachelor’s degree.

“He was a very friendly person. But what I did notice about this gentleman is he’d open up his gym bag and in it, he had everything he owned. He was living out of the gym bag. That, and he sat in the Y’s lobby for hours and hours,” Euille said. “Outside of myself, I don’t think he knew anyone else in town.”

Euille could not get to the YMCA this morning because of the police lockdown. But when he exchanged messages with the Y’s manager, he was told that Hodgkinson had been in the gym and left about 7 a.m. and walked over toward the ballfield.

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The notion that Wednesday’s shooting at a Republican baseball practice will ease partisan rancor is a nice thought, but former House speaker Newt Gingrich is not sure that reality will match the dream.

Co-hosting “Outnumbered” on Fox News, Gingrich and his fellow panelists discussed whether the unified sentiment that swept through Congress could carry over to legislating.

“Well, I think it partly depends on the leadership,” Gingrich said. “It’s, again, one of the great challenges we have is there is a profoundly different vision of the future between where Trump wants to go and where most Republicans want to go, and where Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer and even more to their left — people like Elizabeth Warren and others — want to go.

“So, you can be personable. My whole career, with people like Dick Gephardt or Tom Foley — Foley was the speaker of the House at one time; Gephardt was the Democratic leader. You could have good personal relations, but that didn’t mean when you got down to negotiate that they could betray their caucus or I could betray my conference. And, so, you would end up at loggerheads.

“It was easier to work with Bill Clinton because Clinton, as long as the deal was somewhere in this box, he wanted a deal. But if you start dealing with people where they’re over here and you’re over here, you can be friendly, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be very productive. I think that it will be interesting to watch. There’s an opportunity here to be a little more bipartisan. I think on smaller things, you can be very bipartisan.”

The wounding of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others might encourage lawmakers to be more cordial, but Gingrich drew a clear distinction between getting along and getting things done. The stark policy differences that existed before Wednesday remain.

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James T. Hodgkinson repeatedly blasted Republican lawmakers for favoring the “super rich” in two dozen letters to his hometown newspaper from 2008 to 2012.

“There’s a new version of what GOP stands for. It’s not the Grand Old Party anymore. It’s the Greedy One Percenters,” he wrote in a Dec. 28, 2011, letter to the editor of the Belleville News-Democrat in Belleville, Ill. “I wish everyone could see how by changing the tax code, more than 95 percent of this country’s problems could be solved,” he added. “We need to vote all Republicans out of office.”

Hodgkinson, who identified himself as a political independent, was also sometimes critical of Democrats for doing too little on tax reform. But he focused most of his ire on Republicans, and he wrote frequently about income inequality and tax rates, making reference to taxes in nearly every single letter.

“My motto is: ‘Tax em like 1938,’ ” he wrote July 8, 2012, praising high tax rates for the super rich.

The Great Depression, he alleged in multiple letters, was caused in part by unfair tax rates, and higher tax rates for the wealthy, he said, helped pull America out of the depression.

“If we don’t want another Great Depression, we should re-elect the man who is working for the working man,” he added.

In 2011, he wrote in to the newspaper praising the Occupy movement that had seized control of squares and public spaces in cities across the country.

“I love seeing the protesters in New York, Boston and other big cities get their voices heard,” he wrote in October 2011. “This should have happened sooner.”

He was a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders well before the 2016 presidential race. “Long live Bernie Sanders,” he wrote at the close of one letter in January 2012.

Though his letters focused on tax reform, he also periodically accused Republicans of harboring “hate,” and he said at one point that today’s “crooked politicians” made him “mad.”

“It’s time for the Republican congressmen to grow up. Maybe if they weren’t so full of hate, they could see what they are doing to this country — selling it to the Chinese just so they can keep more of the millions,” he wrote in November 2011.

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Stephen Brennwald, an Alexandria resident and attorney, said he realized after seeing James T. Hodgkinson’s photo on the news that Hodgkinson was the same man who had been hanging out for at least the past several weeks in the lobby of the YMCA adjacent to Simpson Field.

Brennwald said Hodgkinson would regularly show up first thing in the morning — at about the same time the shooting took place Tuesday — and look at his laptop or stare out the window. He said he never seemed to work out or talk to anyone, and wore long pants that were obviously not exercise gear.

“He never worked out. He never talked to anybody. He never did anything,” Brennwald said. “He’d just sit there and stare at his laptop.”

Brennwald added, “It didn’t seem right, but I figured maybe he’s a law enforcement guy monitoring something.”

Just last week, Brennwald said, he thought to himself: “I need to talk to someone and say, ‘Who is this guy? Why is he here?’ He’s never working out.”

Brennwald said that when Hodgkinson was not scanning his laptop he would look out the window toward the park. “He had this kind of faraway stare,” Brennwald said.

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U.S. Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, one of two officers wounded Wednesday morning, has been a member of the department for nine years, according to a LinkedIn account under his name.

He lists his primary duty as the “protection of life and property.” He also enforces traffic and investigates crimes, in addition to protecting members of Congress.

Previously, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for three years and attended North Carolina Central University, according to the LinkedIn account.

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Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was wounded in Wednesday morning’s shooting, was the target of criticism in a 2015 post to a Facebook account believed to belong to alleged shooter James T. Hodgkinson.

“Here’s a Republican that should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise,” Hodgkinson apparently wrote, commenting on a political cartoon that portrayed Scalise speaking to a group of people clad in Ku Klux Klan hoods.

The account, which also included anti-Trump posts, was removed early Wednesday afternoon.

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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) describes the shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several others during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) describes the shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. (Voice of America)

Still wearing his red-and-white baseball shirt with “Republicans” on it, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was making his way to a car almost three hours after police said shots were fired toward the end of the Republican Congress members’ practice. One person, standing on his balcony overlooking the baseball field, yelled, “We’re glad you’re safe, Jeff!”

Shaded under a tree with a police officer by his side, Flake told The Post what he remembered about the shooting:

How the shooting began

“We were doing batting practice near the end of the practice, and all of us were on the field, either in line to bat or fielding balls, and all of a sudden, we heard just a very loud pop, and it sounded like gunfire. It was just one, then a few seconds later it was a rally [of gunfire]. And it was clear, I just remember seeing, he had a rifle,” Flake said.

“I don’t know if anybody was targeted, but I just remember seeing some of the gravel bounce up as gunfire hit. And so a lot of us went into the dugout, because we thought the gunfire was coming near the third-base dugout, just to get some cover. I think there were around 10 or 12 in the dugout, and a few others would come in and join us. One staff member from Roger Williams’s staff — I think his name was Zach — was hit in the field in the leg, and he ran on a bad leg all the way across the field into the dugout. And then we had to apply pressure to that wound to try to keep the bleeding down,” Flake recounted.

[Zach Barth, who works in the office of Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, was wounded in the shooting.]

“I looked up at one point and saw the gunman. He had come around the back, near home plate, and had a clear line of sight into the dugout and so we had to get down again,” Flake said.

Helping Steve Scalise

“Steve Scalise was laying motionless. He had dragged himself into the outfield and there was a trail of blood where he went. I wanted to get to him but so long as there was gunfire overhead, I couldn’t,” Flake said. “So finally when I heard that somebody said the shooter is down, I ran out to Steve and put pressure on the wound.”

Flake said he put pressure on the wound with “just my hand” and then was joined by someone with gauze and they applied pressure.

Flake said Scalise was wounded in “the left hip.”

“As soon as we got him into the ambulance, I got his phone and called his wife, just to make sure she didn’t hear the news before. So fortunately she hadn’t and I was able to tell her that he looked to be stable and we were with him,” he said.

Flake said Scalise was conscious. “He wanted some water and was obviously in a great deal of pain. You could see exactly where he dragged himself off the infield, about 10 or 15 yards. But I was in the dugout seeing him out there and not being able to get to him …” Flake trailed off.

A reporter asked whether lawmakers had any reason to be concerned for their safety at the practice.

“We hadn’t,” he said. “The only reason we had return fire was because Steve Scalise has a detail. Gratefully they were there. Had they not been, who knows what would have happened.”

Security detail returning fire

Flake said he didn’t hear the gunman say anything.

“There was a lot of yelling around. But I couldn’t tell what was what. For a while, there in the dugout, when a security detail opened fire, I didn’t know if that was friendly fire or not. He was using our dugout as kind of shelter to fire on the gunman,” Flake said.

“And I kept yelling: ‘Are you friendly? Are you friendly?’ And he yelled back, ‘Yes.’ And then I could see him come around the dugout, but he was wounded. I’m not sure when he got shot. But he had a wound by his ankle. … He was, anyway, a very tough guy.”

Flake confirmed that he saw a female Capitol Police officer get shot but didn’t have more details.

When asked whether he was shaken up, Flake said, “Well, I mean, it’s a tough thing.” He said he’ll leave it to others to decide whether Congress will play the game as planned Thursday.

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The Justice Department “will provide all resources necessary for a thorough investigation” into Wednesday’s shooting, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.

“This morning, Members of Congress, Senators, congressional staffers, and Capitol Police officers were targets of a senseless and cowardly attack during a practice for a bi-partisan, charity baseball game,” Rosenstein said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We pray for their swift recovery.”

Rosenstein commended the work of the Capitol Police and Alexandria police officers who engaged in a gun battle with the attacker, saying, “Their willingness to risk their lives to keep us safe is humbling and inspiring.”

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Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), who represents the district where alleged shooter James T. Hodgkinson lived, said that Hodgkinson had contacted his office 14 times through email or telephone calls.

Bost said his staff conducted a search after law enforcement contacted him this morning about the suspect.

“Every issue that we were working on, he was not in support of,” Bost said, saying the communications were of a left-wing slant but were never delivered “with any threats, only anger.”

“This one never crossed the line, but he was always angry,” said Bost, who added that his office continues to cooperate with law enforcement.

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Virginia’s political pause did not last long.

While the state’s newly minted Republican and Democratic nominees for governor called off campaign plans for the day, the shooting soon became a talking point for gun control on the left and an opportunity for sniping on the right.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said his advocacy for greater gun control was “not for today’s discussion,” but he mentioned his stance in response to questions at a gathering with reporters.

When a reporter asked the governor whether more needed to be done to protect politicians, McAuliffe said: “I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens. I have long advocated — this is not what today is about, but there are too many guns on the street. We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.”

He later corrected himself; he meant to say 93 Americans a day.

“I’ve long talked about this — background checks, shutting down gun show loopholes,” he continued.

“That’s not for today’s discussion. But it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”

A reporter challenged McAuliffe, saying that if this was not the day for it, “why are you bringing it up?”

McAuliffe, noting the recent shooting death of a state trooper in Richmond, said the subject is always front-and-center for him.

“I talk about this every single day, this is a very serious issue,” he said. “We just buried one of our great state troopers, a special agent with a wife and three young children. Needless. Senseless.”

McAuliffe’s comments drew fire from Katie Pavlich, a Fox News contributor, and John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

“And of course, Governor Terry McAuliffe goes for more gun control as Republicans attacked say they only had baseball bats 2 defend selves,” Pavlich tweeted.

Whitbeck retweeted Pavlich and took a swipe at McAuliffe: “Disgusting. Not a day for politics.”

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A dispatch from Washington Post contributor Kurt Shillinger, who is in Belleville, Ill., and reporter Tom Jackman, who is in Washington:

It appears that James Hodgkinson was recently taking target practice with a rifle in the lightly populated neighborhood where he lived, in the unincorporated area outside of Belleville. Police encountered Hodgkinson on March 24, records from the St. Clair County Sheriff show. The sheriff received a phone call reporting about 50 shots “in the pine trees” at the end of the short street where Hodgkinson lived.

A deputy responded shortly after 3:05 p.m. and found that Hodgkinson “did have in his possession a valid Illinois FOID [firearms owner identification] card,” and that the deputy advised Hodgkinson “to not discharge his weapon in the area.”

Hodgkinson apparently complied and the deputy left without taking any further action.

Karman and Bill Schaumleffel, neighbors across a small cornfield on the back edge of the Hodgkinson property, recall seeing a man firing a rifle out into the field about two or three months ago. The shots followed in a rapid, steady staccato as if, they said, from a semiautomatic rifle, and the police report shows they called 911.

The Schaumleffels said Hodgkinson kept to himself.

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In a brief session on the floor of the House, Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) each spoke of their sorrow about the attack on their colleagues and their gratitude to the first responders who came to the scene of Wednesday’s shooting.

“I know that we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened,” Ryan said. He said that he spoke after the shooting to the two wounded Capitol Police officers, whose heroism he praised. And he joked that congressman Steve Scalise, also wounded in the attack, “is likely really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game.”

Both Ryan and Pelosi called for bipartisan understanding in response to the attack.

“There are so many memories from this day that we will want to forget, and there are so many images that we will not want to see again, but there is one image in particular that this House should keep,” Ryan said, describing a “photo of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news.”

“We feel so deeply about the things that we fight for and the things we believe in … but we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber,” he said. “These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. So before this House returns to its business, let’s just slow down and reflect to think about how we’re all being tested right now. Because we are being tested right now.”

He ended his address: “Resolve to come together, to lift each other up and to show the country, to show the world that we are one house, the people’s house, united in our humanity. It is that humanity that will win the day, and it always will. God bless.”

Pelosi then thanked Ryan, joked that she was going to say something her colleagues never hear her say: “I identify myself with the remarks of the speaker.”

She pointed out that the attack happened on a baseball field, where the victims were preparing for a long-standing evening of political unity, the Congressional Baseball Game.

“Sports really bring us together in our cities. You see people have the biggest differences of opinion in politics, and yet when their team is on the field, people come together,” she said. “So when this team was on the field, practicing with such camaraderie … for this person to take this action was so cowardly.”

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Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011 during a meeting with constituents, called Wednesday’s shooting “an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.”

“I am heartbroken for the pain of Congressman Scalise, the other victims, and their family, friends and colleagues who survived,” she said in a statement. “I am thankful for the great courage of the Capitol Police, who were my protectors after I was shot and became my friends.”

Giffords also alluded to the shooting that critically wounded her, killed six people and wounded a dozen others. While Giffords was severely wounded, she managed a remarkable recovery and has since become a high-profile advocate for stronger gun-control laws.

“I also know the courage it takes to recover from a shooting like this, and I know Steve and everyone there this morning have such courage in great supply,” she said.

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Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and fellow Republicans were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game when a gunman opened fire Wednesday morning, wounding Scalise and four others. Despite the attack, the game scheduled for Thursday night will go on, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said.

While events such as the Great Depression and World War II have prompted cancellations, Republicans and Democrats have faced off, on the diamond, in most years since 1909. The all-time series is tied, 39-39-1.

According to House of Representatives archives, some early contests were intense — perhaps too intense. After a rainout in 1914, congressmen returned to the House chamber to debate an appropriations bill but made no progress “because members remained preoccupied with their unfinished work on the baseball diamond.”

In 1958, House Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-Tex.) discontinued the game, saying it had become too physical.

Rayburn’s successor as speaker, Rep. John McCormack (D-Mass.), revived the game in 1962, and it has become a symbol of bipartisanship rather than a source of conflict.

It also has become a charity event. The beneficiaries of this year’s game are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Washington Literacy Center. The deep roster of corporate sponsors includes Toyota, Anheuser-Busch, Disney, AFLAC, Visa and Major League Baseball.

Tickets are still available.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) addressed the House on Wednesday after the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice.

“We are united in our shock, united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Ryan said.

He named the victims of the shootings, including two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner.

He said he spoke to both officers this morning.

“One was being treated and one was about to go into surgery. I expressed our profound gratitude to them,” adding that more lives would have been lost without their presence.

The other victims injured in the shooting have been identified as Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Zach Barth, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.); and Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tysons Foods.

This post has been updated with the confirmed spelling of the police officers’ names.

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James T. Hodgkinson, identified by police as the suspect in Wednesday morning’s shooting, wrote frequent letters to the editor of his local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat. The paper has now published a collection of those letters from 2012, in which Hodgkinson repeatedly raised concerns about the nation’s income inequality and was deeply critical of Republican policies and tax breaks for the wealthy.

“Let’s vote all Republicans out of Congress, and get this country back on track,” Hodgkinson wrote in July 2012. “If we don’t want another Great Depression, we should reelect the man who is working for the working man. President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” policy did not work, and never will. A strong middle class is what a country needs to prosper.”

The next month, he wrote: “I have never said ‘life sucks,’ only the policies of the Republicans.”

Hodgkinson also called for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana to “stimulate the economy.”

Read the letters here.

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Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) told reporters that he thinks he spoke with the shooter Wednesday morning while leaving the practice field. Duncan said that he briefly spoke with a man who “asked me if the team practicing was a Democrat or Republican team.”

“I told him they were Republicans. He said, ‘Okay, thanks,’ turned around,” Duncan said.

While Duncan said the man matched the description police have given for the shooter, it was not immediately clear whether this man was the attacker who soon opened fire. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who was with Duncan on Wednesday morning when they left the field, also shared a similar account with  Fox News  of an unidentified man asking whether the people on the field were Republicans or Democrats.

After speaking with the man, Duncan and DeSantis left Alexandria and headed to Capitol Hill in the same car. DeSantis, speaking to Fox, said they left shortly after 7 a.m. to beat the traffic heading to the Capitol.

“I don’t know if that was the guy, but I think it’s important to put that information out there,” DeSantis said. He added: “He was really interested in wanting to know who was out there.”

[Trump says gunman dead after shootout with police]

DeSantis, speaking to reporters later Wednesday, said that a picture on a Twitter account apparently linked to the shooter matched the person who approached them and asked about the political affiliations of those on the field.

DeSantis described the man as nondescript.

“The type of guy if you were walking down the street and there were 30 other people, you wouldn’t have even picked him out,” DeSantis said.

Duncan said the congressmen later learned of the shooting and returned to the scene to speak to police about the interaction.

“I’m shaken up,” he said. “My colleagues were targeted today.”

The FBI, which is leading the investigation, has not said whether the gunman specifically targeted Republicans or members of Congress. Other lawmakers have echoed Duncan’s comments, with Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) writing on Twitter that the shooter “obviously planned to kill many Republican members.”

Duncan said he did think the shooting was politically motivated and that the attacker was seeking to shoot Republicans.

“I saw the individual, I know what he asked me, I how I answered, I know what happened,” Duncan said. “So I’m making the assumption he was targeting Republicans based on what he did.”

Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.

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Several members of Congress said they spoke up at the closed-door member briefing to ask whether they could use campaign funds to help pay for private security. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the issue was raised but no official guidance has been issued.

“That’s an issue we have been looking at,” McCarthy told reporters after the meeting.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke briefly about the shooting Wednesday, amid reports that the suspect, James T. Hodgkinson III, volunteered on the Vermont senator’s 2016 presidential campaign and featured the senator’s image prominently on his Facebook page.

“I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice this morning is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act,” Sanders said on the Senate floor. “Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.”

He said he was praying for the recovery of those who were wounded, and he thanked the Capitol Police for their “heroic actions.”

Robert Becker, who served as the Iowa director of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, said Hodgkinson had no formal role on the campaign and that he couldn’t find anyone who remembered him.

“We had approximately 100 paid organizers on staff,” Becker said. “He was not one of them.”

Becker said ahead of the caucuses, about 10,000 people volunteered for Sanders at varying points.

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Lawmakers were streaming into the Capitol late Wednesday morning on their way to a law enforcement briefing on the shooting.

Guidance sent to House members encouraged all to attend the reopening of the chamber at noon, when Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are expected to speak about the shooting after the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance. After that, the House will adjourn for the day, although some committees may hold scheduled hearings.

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On Twitter, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.) wrote that Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent in his office, was wounded in the shooting. 

“He is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery,” Williams wrote. In another tweet, he wrote: “We ask that you please respect the privacy of him and his family during this difficult time.”

According to the website Legistorm, Barth has worked for Williams since fall 2016 and before that, worked for Randy Neugebauer, also a Texas Republican representative

In Neugebauer’s office, he was a policy assistant and staff assistant, according to Legistorm.

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The shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria on Wednesday morning is the latest in a long history of lawmakers being attacked — events that have been long overshadowed by assassinations of presidents and other heads of state.

But violence against members of Congress has occurred repeatedly since the country’s founding. Fourteen lawmakers have been killed, nearly a dozen more wounded. In the nation’s early days, when politicians would regularly rumble, some congressmen initiated the violence. The Post’s Retropolis blog has a list of the most high-profile incidents.

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Washington Post contributor Kurt Shillinger sent this dispatch from Belleville, Ill.:

Law enforcement officials arrived at a home associated with James T. Hodgkinson, who has been identified as the suspect in Wednesday morning’s shooting, shortly after 11:30 a.m. The home, in a rural community southeast of St. Louis, is a modest, rectangular clapboard farmhouse off a two-lane state highway amid fields of young corn and budding soy.

Neighbors set up barricades shortly after The Washington Post arrived and refused people entry.

One neighbor, a man in jeans and a straw cowboy hat who declined to give his name, said Hodgkinson has not lived at the house for “quite a while.” He said Hodgkinson’s wife left for work this morning as she always does.

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President Trump called for national unity after Wednesday morning’s shooting at a congressional baseball practice, saying the nation and indeed the world is praying for the recovery of wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other victims.

“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country,” Trump said. He added, “We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.”

In brief remarks delivered from the Diplomatic Room at the White House, Trump said Scalise was “shot and badly wounded,” but is recovering in a hospital and is in stable condition. The president said he spoke with Scalise’s wife, Jennifer, and pledged his full support.

“Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend,” Trump said. “He’s a patriot and he’s a fighter. He will recover from his assault — and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you but of an entire nation and, frankly, the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.”

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President Trump made a statement after a shooting left at least one lawmaker and several others injured, on June 14 at the White House. President Trump's full statement on the June 14 congressional baseball practice shooting (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

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President Trump announced Wednesday morning that the gunman who opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball team practice, identified by law enforcement as James T. Hodgkinson III, “has now died from his injuries.”

Trump spoke from the Diplomatic Room of the White House about what he termed a “very, very, very brutal assault.”

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Shots were fired in Alexandria, Va., this morning at a Republican congressional baseball practice. The latest as we learn it.

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High costs could imperil Alexandria’s decades-old promise on low-income housing

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The escalating cost of construction and dramatic changes in how affordable housing is ­financed are leading Alexandria officials to consider modifying a requirement to replace any of its 1,150 public housing units that are redeveloped with equally priced apartments.

A change is necessary, proponents say, because local housing authorities such as the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority can no longer afford to simply replace an apartment priced for the poorest residents — those who make less than 30 percent of the area’s median income, or $26,500 for a two-person household — with another unit priced for the same income level.

Instead, ARHA proposes to either build more housing for people higher on the income ladder to subsidize the rents of the poorest tenants or to get substantial additional financial support from local, state or federal governments.

“We need a broader spread of [household incomes] if we are to do the job without deep subsidies,” Roy Priest, ARHA’s chief executive, told the City Council last week.

Priest, who is retiring at the end of this month, said the long erosion of federal housing subsidies, which is expected to worsen under President Trump’s administration, as well as the emergence of independent affordable housing organizations, has boosted competition for scarce federal tax credits, which support almost all affordable housing development in the nation.

Meet the candidates running to become Virginia’s next governor

Changing Alexandria’s 36-year-old promise to preserve the number of housing units for its poorest families at affordable rents would break a social compact, affordable housing advocates say.

“At the time this law was passed, it was never envisioned that public housing authorities would be losing their funding from the federal government,” said Michelle Krocker, executive director of the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance. “We need to be sure any solution provides housing in perpetuity for these extremely low-income people, because we know these are the hardest populations to serve.”

While existing tenants would be protected from losing their housing even if the policy is changed, the supply of housing for the poorest residents would undoubtedly dwindle, even as population growth and income trends in the region guarantee that the need will increase.

Krocker said the proof will be in the details of whatever is proposed and whether the cash-strapped city can persuade other entities — and offer subsidies — to build housing that’s needed when the existing 1,150 units are not enough.

Alexandria and the greater Washington region are not alone in grappling with the increasing cost and declining federal support for affordable housing.

“It is going on all over the country, particularly in urban and suburban markets experiencing growth,” said Stephen Glaude, president and chief executive of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development.

A low-income housing project requires five to seven different types of subsidies to get off the ground or “the math doesn’t work,” Glaude said.

Unique to Alexandria, the local law known as Resolution 830 has guaranteed that this small city would always replace, on a one-for-one basis, any of its lowest-income apartments lost through decay or demolition. Far larger Fairfax County, the only other Northern Virginia community with a public housing authority, provides 1,060 low-income rentals and makes no promise similar to Alexandria’s.

Most communities in the region, including Alexandria and Fairfax, support affordable housing projects with grants or loans. Those projects are usually financed in the expectation of having tenants whose incomes range from 40 to 80 percent of the area’s median income, or up to $88,300 for a two-person household. Apartments at the high end of that range are often called “workforce” housing, because tenants with full-time jobs can qualify.

Much rarer are the developments that offer apartments for those who make less. The federal government provides housing vouchers, previously known as “Section 8” vouchers, but they are hard to get, and it’s up to tenants to find landlords willing to take them — an exceedingly difficult hunt in an area where rental costs are rising.

While it will be at least the end of the year before any changes are proposed for Resolution 830, ­Alexandria Housing Director ­Helen McIlvaine said the issue is coming up now because officials are trying to avoid the tempest that erupted in late 2015 and early 2016, when ARHA’s plan to re­develop the 15-unit Ramsey Homes public housing project ran into a buzz saw of neighborhood and political opposition.

That brouhaha delayed the agency’s application for federal tax credits by a year. After multiple meetings, the city and the housing authority agreed to a “no surprises” rule in the future.

ARHA wants the City Council in the fall to approve a redevelopment of the 48-year-old Andrew Adkins apartments just east of the Braddock Road Metro station. The housing authority plans to sell the two blocks of land beneath the apartments to a private developer, who wants to build 500 market-rate units in seven-story buildings, with ground-level retail.

The developer would also build a new public housing tower, to be run by ARHA, but only 60 of the current 90 units would be replaced. ARHA officials said they would use the money they earned from the land sale to buy or rent housing elsewhere for the remaining 30 tenants.

The East Braddock area is rapidly gentrifying and has acquired the nickname of Old Town West. New apartment and condominium towers have gone up amid older, low-income apartments, and several middle-to-high-end restaurants have opened nearby.

While public housing residents sat outside one recent evening barbecuing on a tiny grill, with laundry drying on their clotheslines, more affluent neighbors two blocks away played bocce ball and outdoor ping-pong under strings of lights.

That idea of modifying Resolution 830 did not go over well with City Council members who were briefed on it at a workshop last week.

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Mayor Allison Silberberg (D) objected to both the possible abandonment of the resolution and to the reduction of public housing units at Andrew Adkins. Council member Willie Bailey (D) said the four plots of green space at the site should be sacrificed to add more housing.

“They’re going to build 500-plus homes, and all we’re getting out of it is 60 units?” Bailey asked. “I know we like to talk about open space, but people can’t live in open space.”

Canek Aguirre, president of the board of Tenant and Workers United, said his organization opposes the proposal for Andrew Adkins but has a “wait-and-see” attitude toward the idea of changing Resolution 830, because it’s still in preliminary stages and community reaction will be solicited before anything happens.

Vice Mayor Justin Wilson (D) told the council that if it wants to retain the one-for-one replacement of the lowest-income apartments, “someone . . . has to show up with a lot of money.”

“This is our choice. This is our decision,” Wilson warned. “We could have [fewer] units with deeper affordability or more units with less affordability. . . . That is the brutal math.”

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10 days ago
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First Major Burning Man Exhibition Coming To The Renwick: DCist

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Used to be that experiencing the mind-bending experimental art of Burning Man involved flying to a scorching desert in Nevada, praying that you didn't get caught in a windstorm or bugstorm and that your college buddy's totally legit Shroom Guy was, in fact, legit. No longer!
On Thursday, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery announced the first ever major exhibition of the large-scale art installations that are erected—and typically set on fire—at the eclectic gathering. Opening next Spring, "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" will highlight the "maker culture" of the annual event with room-sized installations, immersive costumes, jewelry, and other participatory works.
Some of the works to be displayed have been featured at previous Burning Mans (Men?), while others were commissioned specifically for the installation. There will also be archival documents and photos, drawn from the Nevada Museum of Art's Burning Man archive, that trace the origins and growth of the festival.

"This exhibition transports the art of Burning Man to a museum setting, so that audiences who cannot visit Black Rock City can encounter the cutting-edge work being created at this transformative annual event," Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, said in a statement.

The Renwick drew huge lines when it reopened after renovation in late fall 2015 with its WONDER exhibit, though the wait time for visitors is nothing near what Burning Man folks experience entering and leaving the festival.

"Through this ambitious exhibition, more people will have a chance to engage with Burning Man's ethos, which has given rise to a thriving year-round culture spurred by a growing global community of participants," added Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man Project, the festival's nonprofit arm. "We're looking forward to this excellent opportunity to showcase the elements of Burning Man that are helping change the world around us for the better."

The exhibition opens in March 30th of 2018 and runs straight through next summer, ending on September 16th (With a bonfire? TBD).

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21 days ago
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Heads Up: “TRAFFIC ADVISORY: 2017 Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

From MPD:

“On Sunday, May 28, 2017, the 2017 Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom will take place in the District of Columbia. In conjunction with this event, there will be several street closures that motorists should take into consideration:

Assembly Area

The rally area will be at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on the north and south parking lots, which will be open at 7:00 am.

The staging area will be in front of the Lincoln Memorial at Ohio and Independence Avenue, S.W.

Parade Route

The following roads will be closed from approximately 10:30 am to 3:00 pm:

Memorial Bridge
Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 3rd Street, NW
3rd Street, SW from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
Independence Avenue, SW from 3rd Street, SW to West Potomac Park, SW
All NORTHBOUND traffic across the 14th Street bridge will be diverted to EASTBOUND I-395 (SE/SW Freeway)
12th Street Tunnel will be closed to ALL NORTHBOUND traffic
The 9th Street Tunnel will be closed to ALL SOUTHBOUND traffic
There will be no closures of the 3rd Street tunnel but traffic may be heavier than normal, due to the other closures

The motorcycle ride will form in North Pentagon Parking Lot and will proceed over the following route:

Across Memorial Bridge to 23rd Street, North on 23rd Street to Constitution Ave, East on Constitution Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, East on Pennsylvania Avenue to 3rd St, South on 3rd Street to Independence Avenue, West on Independence Avenue to West Basin Drive, Southwest on West Basin Drive to Ohio Drive, Northwest on Ohio Drive to Franklin D. Roosevelt Park where they will disband.

Motorists traveling in the area of this event may experience delays and should consider alternative routes, if possible. The Metropolitan Police Department and the District Department of Transportation would like to remind motorists to pay full attention whenever operating any motor vehicle to be mindful of heavy pedestrian traffic that may be associated with special events. These street closings are subject to change without notice based upon unanticipated events and prevailing conditions.”

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28 days ago
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A millionaire, a hotel maid and an arrest after the inauguration for sex abuse

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He was a millionaire, in Washington to toast President Trump’s inauguration.

She was a maid, tasked with cleaning rooms that cost more in a few days than her monthly rent.

On Jan. 19, as the nation’s capital swelled with tourists and protesters, the millionaire and the maid met on the 10th floor of the Mayflower Hotel downtown, in Room 1065.

As she made his bed, he approached from behind and began rubbing her buttocks, according to a police report.

“This is very nice stuff,” he said, according to the report. “I like that!”

Such incidents are all too common in an industry where about half of employees say they have been sexually assaulted or harassed by a guest, union surveys have shown. Many go unreported because the housekeepers, often immigrants or women of color, fear losing their jobs.

In 2011, the plight of hotel housekeepers became international news when Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then the head of the International Monetary Fund, was accused of sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury hotel in New York. Criminal charges were dropped, but the incident spurred New York hotels to provide maids with panic buttons.

Six years later, the devices only now are reaching many other parts of the country, including the District, a city with 32,000 hotel rooms and about 3,000 maids.

More than 30 hotels in the Washington area have introduced panic buttons in the past year under an agreement with Unite Here Local 25, said John Boardman, the union’s executive secretary-treasurer. The Mayflower introduced the devices on April 1, he said.

The agreement was reached in 2012, but it has taken five years to put in place reliable technology, Boardman said. When pressed, the panic buttons send a maid’s location to hotel security. Hotels pay for the devices and monitoring systems, which generally cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

In November, voters in Seattle approved a measure providing hotel workers with panic buttons and other protections. And in Chicago, the city council is considering a measure that would require panic buttons.

“These women deal with a constant fear when they work by themselves,” said Alderman Michelle Harris, the ordinance’s sponsor. “Will they be next?”

Vanessa Sinders, a senior vice president for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, which represents most of the country’s biggest chains, said the industry is committed to using technology to keep its employees safe.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to sexual harassment,” she said, “no industry is immune.”

[Bill Dean throws wild Georgetown parties. Now a rape is alleged at one.]

Perhaps the only thing unusual about what happened in Room 1065 was that the man was arrested.

John Joseph Boswell pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor sexual abuse in D.C. Superior Court. He was sentenced to 10 days incarceration and six months probation, although the jail time was suspended.

The maid declined to comment. The Washington Post generally does not name victims of sexual assault.

In an interview with The Post, Boswell maintained his innocence.

“I patted her on the lower back,” said Boswell, 70, who is married and has three young children. “It was just a friendly gesture.”

The prosecutor in the case saw things differently.

“He took advantage of [her] while she was working, vulnerable, and alone,” Vivian Kim, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in an email to Boswell’s attorney.

Two different Americas collided at the Mayflower that afternoon.

The woman is an African immigrant who cleans strangers’ rooms for $20 an hour.

Boswell is the chief executive of Independent Stave Company, the world’s largest wine-and-whiskey barrel manufacturer. He lives in a 14,000-square-foot, $7 million mansion in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 20 miles from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Boswell — who has contributed more than $120,000 to Republican candidates and conservative groups over the past 25 years — wasn’t always a Trump backer. In the 2016 presidential election, he supported Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.). But by the time of Trump’s inauguration, Boswell had embraced the new president and booked a room at the Mayflower.

On the morning of Jan. 19 — the day before the inauguration — the maid commuted from her modest apartment in Riverdale, Md., to the historic hotel, with its gilded ballrooms and crystal chandeliers.

It was about 2 p.m. when she entered Boswell’s room, and he began touching her.

She froze and, in shock, apologized to him, according to the police report. “Sorry sir,” she said. “Sorry sir!”

When another maid emerged from the bathroom, Boswell “immediately moved,” the report said. The first maid rushed out of the room, shaking, and told her co-worker that she would have to clean it by herself.

As the second maid attempted to make the bed, Boswell approached her, too, and “placed his hand on the top of her shoulder” until she ordered him to sit down, according to the police report.

Neither woman reported the incident. But the next day, when a co-worker told a manager what had happened, police were called.

At 6:20 p.m. — as the parade for the newly sworn-in president was winding down and supporters and protesters were still clashing in the District’s streets — police knocked on Boswell’s hotel room door. When he stepped out, the maid identified him to officers, and he was arrested.

He was jailed alongside more than 200 protesters, including black-clad anarchists accused of smashing Starbucks windows and torching a limousine.

When he was released the following afternoon, Boswell emerged from the D.C. Superior courthouse — less than a mile from where Trump had been sworn in — wearing a green flannel shirt, jeans and glasses.

At first, the crowd cheered, mistaking him for a protester. Then someone who had been in court when Boswell was charged shouted that he was a “sex offender.” Protesters began throwing things at him. An orange slice struck Boswell in the head.

“Well, that wasn’t very nice,” he told a Post reporter, wiping the fruit from his forehead before walking back toward his hotel.

Boswell’s attorney, Bernard Grimm, pushed prosecutors to grant his client a deferred sentencing agreement, or DSA, under which Boswell would have admitted guilt but then, after a short period of good behavior, could have withdrawn his guilty plea.

Kim refused, pointing out that Boswell “could have potentially faced an additional charge based on similar conduct with another hotel employee the same day.”

On April 11, Boswell pleaded guilty. Court documents show that Boswell earns $600,000 a month, but Judge Michael Ryan ordered him to pay $50 into the crime victims compensation fund — one-fifth of the maximum penalty for the offense.

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The judge and the prosecutor also agreed that Boswell could travel overseas while on probation. Last month, he was allowed to fly to the Bahamas. At the end of this month, he is scheduled to spend two weeks in the Dominican Republic for a family reunion.

Meanwhile his victim was so frightened by a visit from Boswell’s defense team to her apartment that she moved, said a co-worker, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity.

Although the two women still work together at the Mayflower, they don’t talk about what happened in Room 1065.

“Whenever she would talk about it,” her co-worker said, “she would cry.”

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