The Senate Press Gallery handles accreditation for daily newspapers, wire services and on-line publications to cover both House and Senate.
U.S. citizens seeking admission to the press galleries must submit a completed application form, along with an $10 check made out to the Standing Committee of Correspondents.
Besides the application and the fee, foreign correspondents must submit two (2) letters of introduction: one from their respective embassies, the other from their editors or publishers. Both letters must be written on original letter-head.
HAND DELIVERY TO S-316
Application packets must be hand-delivered to the Senate Press Gallery on the third floor of the Capitol, Room S-316. DO NOT MAIL THE FORMS; security screening delays mail delivery by up to a month.
When the Standing Committee approves a press credential, the journalist is notified via e-mail to pick up the pass at the Capitol Police Identification Branch Office, Room SD-G58 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Photos are taken for the passes of newly-credentialed correspondents. Current members of the gallery must surrender their old passes upon collecting their new ones.
Membership in the press galleries is limited by Senate Rules to “to bona fide correspondents of repute in their profession” who are full-time, paid correspondents of recognized news organizations. Correspondents must require on-site access to Senate and House members and staff.
Applicants must reside in the Washington, D.C. area, and must not be engaged in any lobbying or paid advocacy, advertising, publicity or promotion work for any individual, political party, corporation, organization, or agency of the U.S. government. They must not be involved in prosecuting any claim before Congress or any federal government department, and will not do so while a member of the Daily Press Galleries.
Correspondents must agree to follow these rules for as long as they are members of the gallery.
Recognized publications are:
(a) those with General Publication mailing privileges under U.S. Postal Service rules, and which publish daily; or
(b) those print or on-line organs whose principal business is the daily dissemination of original news and opinion of interest to a broad segment of the public, and which have published continuously for 18 months.
Applicants’ publications must be editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government.
Failure to provide information — or misrepresenting information — to the Standing Committee for its scrutiny of applications for gallery membership can result in the denial or revocation of credentials.
Questions concerning credentials can be directed to Gallery Staff at 202-224-0241.
A more complete rendition of the rules is here: