[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/08/art.feinstein.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. Dianne Feinstein is looking to crack down on fake Inaugural tickets."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein is on a mission during the current lame duck session of Congress that isn’t focused solely on the words ‘bailout’ or ‘economy.’
On Monday, the Democrat from California introduced legislation to ban the “sale and counterfeiting” of tickets to President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration January 20.
While some tickets are being offered up on Internet sites for reportedly as high as $40,000, in actuality the tickets are free. Members of Congress and the Obama-Biden transition team hand out the tickets.
The government has printed 250,000 tickets so far, holding them in a secure location. For information on how to get one, click here.
“No Web sites or other ticket outlets have inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, despite what they may claim,” according to a press release from Feinstein’s office.
Feinstein – chairwoman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies - said that the inauguration should “not be bought and sold like tickets to a football game.”
“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,” she added.
According to the release, the bill would make it illegal to sell or attempt to sell tickets to the inauguration – and would also make it unlawful to create fake or forged tickets.
Those in violation of the proposed law would face fines of up to $100,000 and one year in prison.