The Washington Post

The House is their home: Freshman reps are sleeping on the job to make a point
The Washington Post

The new Republicans who shook up Washington last week – forcing their party to take a staggering whack at the budget – are also trying to shape a new idea of what a congressman is. In some cases, that means approaching their terms as one-man shows.

Some have rejected their health insurance to dramatize their objections to government-run care. One will print his own letterhead to demonstrate his frugality. Another is giving back 15 percent of his pay. And several are living in their own offices, in a gesture of contempt for the city outside.

They are joining several dozen incumbents who sleep in their offices: some to save money, some to make the same point about Washington’s evils. It’s not that housing in the city is beyond reach, since a congressman makes $174,000 per year.

These legislators usually spend three nights a week snoozing in their offices. Finding a place to shower is the easy part. They walk through tunnels to use the facilities in the House gym. Dinner is harder: The basement vending machines offer fare like the « Big Az Burger. »