Senate Passes Bill Banning Inaugural Tix Scalping

Bill still has to go through House

WASHINGTON -- Those hoping to make an extra buck by scalping tickets to this year's biggest event may want to think again.

The Senate has passed legislation last night that would make it a federal crime to scalp tickets to Barack Obama's inauguration.

The bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California passed by voice vote Tuesday evening. Prospects for passage by the House before next week's swearing-in are uncertain.

Feinstein wrote the bill in response to overwhelming demand for the approximately 240,000 tickets to the historic Jan. 20 event -- and reports that they were being offered online for sky-high prices.

The Washington Post reported one former House GOP aide tried to sell tickets to the swearing-in on for $875 each.

Feinstein's measure would make it a crime punishable by a fine and/or a year in prison to resell or counterfeit inaugural tickets.

The bill contains an exemption for the official presidential inauguration committee, which is selling ticket packages for fundraising.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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