"Inside the Beltway" is an American idiom used to characterize matters that are, or seem to be, important primarily to officials of the U.S. federal government, to its contractors and lobbyists, and to the corporate media who cover them—as opposed to the interests and priorities of the general U.S. population. ''The Beltway'' refers to Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, a circumferential highway (beltway) that has encircled Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States) since 1964. Some speakers of American English now employ the word as a metonym for federal government insiders (cf. Beltway bandits), and the phrase "inside the Beltway" is used as a title for a number of political columns and news items by publications like the ''Washington Times'', American University's magazine and columnist John McCaslin. Geographically, ''Inside the Beltway'' describes Washington, D.C. and those sections of Maryland and Virginia that lie within the perimeter of the Capital Beltway.


Reporting in 1975 on the prospect of a reexamination of the Warren Commission's findings concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, newspaper journalist Nicholas M. Horrock wrote: The 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders was quoted in an interview with Chris Matthews as saying he is not "an inside the Beltway guy." In the context of the interview, it appears that Bernie Sanders used the term to distinguish the American people from those who work on Capitol Hill.


The following cities and counties are located entirely or partially inside the Beltway: *Washington, D.C. (all DC land is inside the Beltway; a small portion of the Potomac River that is part of DC is outside the Beltway) *Alexandria, Virginia (almost all of Alexandria is inside the Beltway) *Arlington County, Virginia (entirely) *Fairfax County, Virginia (partially) *Falls Church, Virginia (entirely) *Montgomery County, Maryland (partially) *Prince George's County, Maryland (partially)

See also

*Washington metropolitan area *Westminster Bubble


{{Reflist Category:Political terminology of the United States Category:Washington metropolitan area