WASHINGTON-Following the close of business Oct. 17, the House and Senate office buildings will be closing so that officials can perform an `environmental sweep’ of the buildings following an anthrax discovery in Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s (D-S.D.) office. Two NAFCU lobbyists who were around the Senate office buildings Oct. 16 are being tested for exposure. The House plans to stand in recess until Tuesday so an environment sweep of the South side of the Capitol can be completed, according to NAFCU Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler. However, the Senate side does not plan to miss a day of work. While their office buildings will be closed and staffers given the time off, the Senators plan to continue working out of offices in the Senate side of the Capitol building. The anthrax discovered by a Daschle staffer has exposed 29 of his staff to the disease as well as two Capitol police officers. Additionally, two staffers of Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-Wis.)-just down the hall from Daschle’s office-have tested positive for exposure, leading some to believe the spores could be airborne. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) reported a suspicious letter in his office today, which is still undergoing testing. NAFCU Senior Lobbyist Murray Chanow and Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kelleen Trauger, who is pregnant, are being tested for anthrax exposure because they were in close proximity. No CUNA lobbyists are being tested or plan to be, according to CUNA Vice President of Communications and Media Outreach Pat Keefe. Several hundred others who work on the Hill, including staffers and lobbyists are being tested. At deadline, a reception for NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar, hosted by Mississippi Republican Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran at the North end of the Capitol building, was going on as scheduled. [email protected]

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