Many Congress members are crying over their poverty as they are sleeping on the job. According to those members, the cost of living in Washington is very high which force them to act as professional squatters. And this way they save some bucks said the members. According to Rep. Dan Donovan, Washington is too expensive and he sleeps on a cot in office. And this is the reason he is still working in White House. He further said that if you buy or rent a house in DC, then you can’t do it unless you are a million dollar politician. However, there are some penny-pinching colleagues of Donovan, who consider this practice disgusting and unprofessional.
According to resources, a legislation is set to be passed in the Congress later this month which would prohibit congressmen like Donovan to sleep in the office as it is against the ethics law of Congress. Rep. Bennie Thompson said that sleeping in office is nasty and unhealthy, and it should be prohibited as soon as possible. Thompson was one of those congressmen who led this legislation. He further said, ethically it is not a good practice to sleep in the office. Being a Congressman, govt gives you free electricity, free security, no-rent place, free cable and that’s one heck of a deal. Enjoying all these facilities would cause $25,000 to $30,000 per year for a normal US citizen, said Thompson.
The lawmakers who make policies all day long and in nights turn to professional squatters, the only problem they had is money. Most of those congressmen either get extra compensation or per diem as they are serving in the capitol. A normal lawmaker in Albany makes up to $175 per day and the rate goes up in big cities such as in Calif the rate is $183, and in Texas rate is $190.
But the situation is opposite for the representatives of House as they are earning $174,000 per year and their salaries have not increased from a decade. While living in a state like New York where a single bedroom can cause $2,000 per month, no house allowance is given to them. At the same time, they also need to pay to live in their home state.
However, members of Senate are doing better than the US reps as they are earning about $20,000 per year. There is no official tally about how many members live in their offices at night but after interviewing many congressmen, it was revealed that almost 100 representative sleep in their office at night. Members of almost every rank turn to professional squatters. Some of the famous names include Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and majority leaders like John Katko, Gregory Meeks, Kevin McCarthy, and Brian Higgins.
According to Zeldin, a military veteran, the bed he used to sleep at in his office makes him more efficient. A politician from Shirley said that from the moment he wakes up and then goes to the bed, he feels connected to the work. An army veteran and a US reps Tim Walz said that he previously shared a rented apartment with Patrick Murph, and each of them paid $1800 per month for that compartment. Walz was then forced to sleep in his office as Murphy lost his Senate seat back in 2016. He further said that saying so does not make him complain. It is just a representation of how we live and how we save our earnings.
The office of a House Member usually contains a reception area, a desk for office work and a sitting place where he discusses matters with other House members. There is no facility of kitchen or shower in their offices. The gym in congress house is the only thing that makes the stay of congressmen possible as there is a facility of showers and kitchen in that basement gym. By paying only $300 per month, House members can access to the kitchen, shower, and laundry of the gym.
Members who sleep in the office wake up in the morning and the first thing they do is go to the gym for a workout. After that, they take a shower and get themselves ready before their colleagues start arriving at 9 AM.