House members living out of their offices might soon have to pay up or move out entirely.
House Democrats are looking to curb the practice by some lawmakers who also call their personal offices their home, McClatchy newspapers’ Washington Bureau is reporting.
“How would you feel about attending a meeting in someone’s bedroom?” asked Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
Thompson said the price amounts to freeloading at the government’s expense.
The New York Post noted last year that an increasing number of House members were living out of their offices to save money during the work week.
“Free janitorial, free cable, free security, free utilities. Ain’t a bad deal, is it?” said Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee is quoted by McClatchy. “The reality is, you’re gaming the system.”
But others note rents are high in the Washington area. And they point out they are forced to maintain two homes – one in their district and the other near the Capitol.
“My constituents want me to do the job they elected me to do,” said Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky. “They appreciate frugality too and appreciate the fact I’m focused on doing my job and not moving into Washington.”
The House administration committee is scheduled to take up the issue later this year.
“There’s a lot of sentiment that that is not something that should be permitted,” committee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said.
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