Pages of the United States Congress: History, Background Information, and Proposals for Change [Updated June 3, 2008] [open pdf - 127KB]
From the Summary: "For more than 175 years, messengers known as pages have served the United States Congress. Currently, approximately 100 young men and women from across the nation are allowed to serve as pages at any given time. Pages must be high school juniors and at least 16 years of age. Several incumbent and former Members of Congress as well as other prominent Americans have served as congressional pages. Pages are appointed and sponsored by a Representative or Senator, and may serve for one academic semester of a school year or a summer session. The right to appoint pages rotates among Members pursuant to criteria set by the respective chamber leadership. […] In the 110th Congress, the House implemented new policies to enhance the safety and supervision of the pages. These policies included expansion of the Page Board to include two Members from each party, the parent of a page, and a former page; new written directives regarding a code of conduct for staff in the page residence hall; guidelines for Member interaction with pages; and creation of a deputy clerk position, under the Clerk of the House, with the sole responsibility for management of the House page program. These changes followed investigations of allegations about the page program and of misbehavior by a few pages in the 109th and 110th Congresses. This report provides a brief history of the congressional page programs, background information, and proposals for change. It will be updated as needed."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33685