The Congressional Black Caucus has outdone itself with the latest serious situation they’ve exposed to the ugly light of day. Some House members actually sleep in their offices rather than to run up exorbitant tabs in D.C. hotels or rather than to have second homes in and around the District.
Our Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has done this since he was elected for his first term in the House of Representatives. He works out each morning in the House Gym after he has folded up his cot and generally cleaned up his office, showers, dresses in his business clothes and is ready for the day’s activities. And, apparently, he isn’t alone since the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) made this its latest “thing”.
And, just in case this doesn’t go anywhere in terms of being an embarrassment to Republicans generally, the Black Caucus at least wants these some 130 members to be taxed or otherwise inconvenienced since they are receiving “free lodging, free cable, free security, free cleaning services and utilize other utilities free of charge in violation of the ethics rules which prohibit official resources from being used for personal purposes.”
Apparently, this began when Rep. Dick Armey made his office his home away from home in 1994, and there are dozens of members who do the same thing today. A quote from Rep. Ryan says, “I get up very early in the morning. I work out. I work until about 11:30 at night. I go to bed. And I do the same thing the next day. It actually makes me more efficient. I can actually get more work done by sleeping on a cot in my office.”
I would suggest this work ethic is probably why the House Dems are so perturbed with Speaker Ryan. He obviously sets a very bad example for other Members. We all would be much better off if our elected members of the House and Senate were so dedicated and conscious of us as is Rep. Ryan.
But, we can’t have this kind of thing going on; it might set a bad example for the others’ voters back home if they learn that not all members of the House are high rollers with taxpayer dollars. That some we elect are not just in this gig for the fame and money is not what others who’ve mooched off us taxpayers for a long time like to have made public.
One member who declined the use of his or her name (for very obvious reasons) also criticized Republicans for advocating cuts to safety net programs while living ‘rent free’ in a government building.
The blatant hypocrisy of the people who criticize this ought to be a shining beacon for their constituents to bring them home and to keep them there; but, these are the people who have conned their way into a lifelong gig at taxpayer expense, and who will do any and everything necessary to keep that spigot flowing with yours and my tax dollars. How dare these upstarts threaten them and their lifestyle by showing there are more economical ways to get along in the District of Columbia.
Better to blaspheme and carry on about tax implications for those who “park their body in a reserved spot overnight on a daily basis with no tax implication”. And of course, there had to be the Democrat who chastised those Republicans for advocating cuts to safety net programs while living rent-free in a government building. Yet another said, “I think public housing should be for people who need it, not for members of Congress”, adding that some of the lawmakers sleeping in the Capitol are multimillionaires.
The CBC has little to show for all its bluster and this probably is calculated to keep the spotlight off their lack of results while pillorying the white elites. All the while, the Ethics Committee is moving slowly, if at all, and that has to really tick off the members of the Black Caucus who are no doubt accustomed to people jumping when they crook their little finger in their direction.
There are days when it seems amazing that our Congress can even function given all the cross-currents and made-up calamities posed by some of its members who need ink for the folks back home.
Ending this with a quote by the apparent leader of this group, Rep. Bennie Thompson, we hear: “There’s something unsanitary about bringing people to your office who are talking about public policy where you spent the night”.
I can tell you that I have been in Rep. Ryan’s office at the beginning of the day, and there was absolutely no sign that he had slept there the night before. And, given his personal routine, he was on top of his game, as well. No hangover, no sleepy eyes…just a bright guy from Janesville, WI who eats, sleeps and breathes for his constituents. And, also, there were no “jammies” laying around.
Talk about “Fake News”!