Hot Ticket: Bill Could Outlaw Selling Obama Inauguration Spots on eBay

Sen. also writing bill to outlaw scalping tickets to historic event

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    Construction is underway in front of the U.S. Capitol for the 2009 presidential inauguration site on Nov. 5, 2008 in Washington, DC.

    The senator overseeing Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony is writing to Internet sites like eBay asking them not to sell scalped inauguration tickets.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein of California is also writing a bill that would make it a federal crime to scalp tickets to the historic event Jan. 20.

    Feinstein, who chairs the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, says she foresees overwhelming demand for the 240,000 available tickets and has heard reports of them being sold for as much as $40,000 online.

    The tickets are supposed to be free to the public and distributed through congressional offices. The offices won't get the tickets until shortly before the inauguration, to try to prevent scalping.