Congress' Members-Only Gym Deemed Essential, So It Remains Open During Government Shutdown

from the out-of-touch dept

While the government shutdown continues, I've joked that it seems like all of the parts of the government that I think should be closed have remained open, while the parts that I actually find useful seem to have been shutdown. The whole "essential" vs. "non-essential" distinction often seems fairly arbitrary. Now, ThinkProgress has shown what may be the most ridiculous of all: the "members-only" gym for Congressional Representatives has been deemed "essential" and thus remains open. Apparently the gym for Congressional staffers is different, and that one is closed. But, of course, the Members get special treatment, and that includes having a nice clean gym while the rest of the country suffers.

A House aide confirmed to ThinkProgress that the House member’s gym is open. The House gym features a swimming pool, basketball courts, paddleball courts, a sauna, a steam room and flat screen TVs. While towel service is unavailable, taxpayers remain on the hook for cleaning and maintenance, which has been performed daily throughout the shutdown. There are also costs associated with the power required to heat the pools and keep the lights on.

According to the aide, the decision to keep the gym open — even while other critical government services were shelved — came directly from Speaker Boehner’s office. Meanwhile, the staff gym available to Congressional staff has been closed.

So in case you were wondering if the government shutdown was cutting into your Reps' treadmill time, rest assured that your taxpayer dollars are helping to keep them in shape.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    But congress is sacrificing with us from this shutdown!

    I mean... no towel service!!! That's a horrible punishment for a bunch of rich spoiled congress people used to aides and servants doing that kind of stuff for them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

    -- George Orwell, Animal Farm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    That is the very definition of a politician, avoiding the consequences of their own actions, by passing law if necessary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    I guess they should get fit for something at least.

    About the government shutting down, people are looking at this in the wrong light.

    This is an opportunity, this is not bad at all.
    The more it extends the more you can see what was really essential and what was dead weight, what people should concentrate to create private alternatives.

    Yes it may be painful in the short term but long term this is just great.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    Not being a USian, am I correct when I understand furloughed to mean unpaid temporary leave? If so, do the politicians still get their full pay, during the shutdown, or is it like the rank and file, deferred until after...what am I saying, of course their own salaries don't suffer any interruptions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Gosh, this is SO techy! And what an exclusive!

    It's like The National Enquirer for geeks.


    Meanwhile, this sounds LOTS more exciting:

    Bald eagle terrorizes neighborhood, attacks pets...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    Don't let them get away with it.
    Replace everything they do with alternatives created by the people, reducing your dependency on their "services", make them irrelevant, do not waste this opportunity to do it.

    Observe where it affects you and find alternatives so you don't ever again need to endure such nonsense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re:

    Congress can't change how they are paid only, they can write the law pass it and it needs to pass the next congress too, to be approved, this was done so congress people didn't raise their pays to the stratosphere, which didn't work so well for now, because the public don't pay attention to that.

    Yes their salaries don't suffer any interruptions in this congress term anything they do however would affect the next.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Essential = anything needed to fleece the American people some more.
    non-essential = anything the American people depends on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Bend over

    Would you want to bend over to pick up a towel with a bunch of Congressmen around?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Alt0, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Oh yeah take that!

    Obama should write yet another "executive order" to shut down the gym until they put a vote on the floor.

    Seriously, I bet some of the congress critters use that facility to shower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Re: Bend over

    I actually shivered when I read your comment. No joke. I really did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    1stWorldProblems, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    AH! I see it now! Your implying their pretty much swine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Scott Yates (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Oh yeah take that!

    Well, then it's not working, because so far they all stink!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Oh yeah take that!

    This might win him some points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    They have to!

    How would they feed us so much bullshit if their mouths get out of shape?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Davey, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    The truth about Congress

    As a Filipino friend said in a totally different context:

    "He think his life if very precious, it is not precious to me -- he may return to that vile dust from which he sprung, I do not care."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Bet their Gym smells like dirty Ass ! and Moldy old Sneakers !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Ouch

    * you're
    * they're

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    The "shut down" is a cheap attempt by a minority to revoke past laws that they do not like.

    If one desires a law to be revoked, they need to get a majority to support the effort and get their new law passed.

    The idea that, out of all past legislation, they get to pick and choose what to fund and what to not fund is contrary to what was intended and certainly results in voter disapproval.

    Possibly your post was sarcasm?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 9:16pm

    But of course

    They have to be in shape so they can outrun the angry torch/pitchfork mobs when the shit hits the fan.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re: Private Alternatives

    Private alternatives got us into this mess. Note that the MIC has not been shut down, and that's what is sucking up all the $$$s in the national debt.

    Why?

    Because none of the MIC companies works on a non-profit basis.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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