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banner Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 16:40 GMT
Beltway
An American term for the orbital highway or ring-road that often surrounds major cities.

In political reporting the term generally refers to congressional business undertaken inside the highway surrounding Washington DC - Interstate 495.

E.g. "A beltway issue" refers to a political issue or debate considered to be of importance only to the political class and of little interest to the general public.

Alternatively those considered to have a "beltway mentality" are seen as being out of touch with the ordinary voters elsewhere in the country.

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