Capitol Hill’s sexual harassment scandal reignites debate about thrifty lawmakers sleep in their office

It is members of Congress can, but they don’t sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. You probably slept in your office on Capitol Hill.

When Congress is in session, dozens of deputies to catch their z’s in the Spartan of the Rayburn Ramada, the Longworth Motel 6 or the cannon Airbnb accommodation.

It is a nightly ritual in the halls of Congress. The lawmakers retreat to their offices in the Rayburn, Longworth and Cannon House office building, inflating an air mattress or a wheel from a extra bed, children’s bed, then turn in for the night.

Many shave and brush your teeth in the personal drops to each office suite. But the members need to take a shower lope down in the house gym in the basement of the Rayburn building, to to.

Freshmen legislators often a big production to make the local media, touting their intentions to sleep in their offices. Make a point to say that ingredients you’ll avoid rent or buy in DC, so that you are perceived as “Washington,” and forget the little guys back home.

So, they stage elaborate photo-to demonstrate ops with your bedroom and Murphy beds bags how you intend to rough it in the big city.

They came to Washington, but you don’t want to really be here.

It is a good way to show fiscal prudence, to the voters and they will make a brand, if you are new to the district. The legislature cannot burnish their image and score some free press, if you don’t have a lot of law bona fides in your resume.

The office-sleeping practice has been in question for years. “Good government” groups, the question of whether Federal properties are similar to the requirement for the legislator. You don’t have to rent an apartment or buy a house, if you work in Washington. Instead, you will only be bearing on the ground – on the Federal dime.

In other words, the taxpayer property that is subsidized, depending on taxes. Never mind that Federal law and house rules bar the legislature with “official resources” for personal purposes.

So, what you get is a bizarre version of “social housing”, not far from the marble corridors, statues, and historic works of art that adorns the Capitol complex.

Some lawmakers view the practice as unseemly and beneath the dignity of Congress. That is why the late House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, sleep barred the office. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and John Boehner, R-Ohio, never slept in their offices. But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., certainly not, and has boasted.

But now there is a bigger question. Various sexual harassment scandals embroil now Capitol Hill. Several female helpers, who brought the work to the members of the two parties, the concern that Fox over their heads, the conversion of their congressional districts in a bedroom at night-especially if you still toil at the Capitol late or early in the morning.

That is to say, none of the aides indicated that it was an incident. But perception prevails in the policy. And, by far, the number of legislators, the distorted live in their offices predominantly male.

“It’s just embarrassing,” said a female aide who is not asked to be identified. “It can be uncomfortable.”

Ryan defends the couch-surfing, when asked whether or not you continue to should be in the midst of the sexual harassment climate of Capitol Hill, to sweep.

“It’s more of a comfort thing,” said Ryan, with the argument that he did not see how the practice was “connected” to issues of sexual harassment in the workplace.

“We sleep in our offices, because we work until midnight and get up early,” he said. “We don’t see our staff. I never see my employees, when I come back.”

To be clear, no one has ever suggested that inappropriate behaviors of the speaker.

But many volunteers say they see their legislator bosses respectively around the office in the night if you work late, or Hiking back and forth to the gym in the early hours of the morning in sweats and shower sandals.


Ryan is right about the convenience factor. The members work strange hours when in Washington. There are late-night votes and hearings. Fundraisers. Meet at 9 and 10 o’clock with the colleagues. But many lawmakers also removed live only a few blocks from the Capitol in efficiency or studio apartments.

Others are happy with a few miles between you and the Capitol Hill, rent or buy, across the river in Arlington or Alexandria, Va. Some even live in Maryland.

The cost is a Problem, also. Rank and file house and Senate members $174,000 a year. This is good money. But there is not much to wait if a legislator has residences back home and in high-cost Washington. Small apartments 700 square meters to run as much as $2,000 and can consume-plus a month.

It is not surprising that some lawmakers room together in group houses in the vicinity of the Capitol. It is expensive, if many members of Congress have families at home, try to be frugal, how to put children through school or to the care of parents in old age.

A cost of living adjustment? The legislature often vote self-loathe a wage increase for fear of the voters game room. Some claim that the legislators earn cost-of-living benefits-especially if the country wants to attract good people to represent them in Washington.

They also make the case that congressional pay competitive should be able. Otherwise, Washington will only legislators who are financially independent and can afford to buy or rent a place on Capitol Hill.

Members of Congress are extremely concerned about maintaining a solid reputation. The thrift sleeping in their offices, certainly, the idea helps to underline that the legislator does not bask in the glory of Washington and “go native.”

By the same token, allegations of sexual harassment, in which several members-promotes the resignations of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Trent Franks, R-Ariz. — the calculus might change.

Some lawmakers could discreetly ditch the office futons and Sofas for a small apartment, not from the Capitol. You could then avoid the appearance , it could be a problem with them crashing in their offices.

It is unclear exactly how many house and Senate members residences set up in their offices when Congress is in session. But if it is dark in Washington, the Capitol also serves as “The Nation’s innkeeper.”


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