WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC), today introduced legislation prohibiting the sale and counterfeiting of inaugural tickets.
“The Inauguration of the President is one of the most important rituals of our democracy. The chance to witness this event should not be bought and sold like tickets to a football game,” Senator Feinstein said. “This legislation is meant to immediately stop the unscrupulous behavior of those who obtain these tickets for free and then seek to profit by selling them, often at dramatically inflated prices. This bill also would target those duping the public with fraudulent tickets or promises of tickets they don’t actually have.
“It is my hope that Congress will pass this legislation during this week’s lame-duck session so that we can stop scam artists and profiteers from maligning this historic event,” Senator Feinstein added.
The bill would make it unlawful to sell or attempt to sell tickets to the presidential inaugural swearing-in ceremony. It also would be illegal to create a fraudulent ticket or forge a ticket to the inauguration. Those who violate the law would face fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
Tickets to the 56th Inaugural Ceremonies are provided free of charge and are distributed through members of the 111th Congress and the President-elect and Vice President-elect. Tickets will not be distributed to Congressional offices until the week before the inauguration and will require in person pick-up with proper identification.
No websites or other ticket outlets have inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, despite what they may claim. Last week, Ebay/StubHub announced it would not allow the sale of inaugural swearing-in ceremony tickets on any of its websites.