TLP: Probably Makes it Tough to Hit the 'Snooze' Button

Saturday, May 15, 2010 , 0 Comments

Ah, the weekend. And time for members of Congress to leave Washington and return to their districts to interact with constituents, see the family, maybe get some. (Of course, if they live at C Street, other arrangements may have been made for getting some.)

So, for maybe 40 or so congressmen, it's an opportunity to get out of the office. Literally get out of the office.

AP via Huffington Post:

It's going on 10 p.m. when House Democrat Mike Quigley, in track pants and a T-shirt, tosses a flimsy mattress on the floor of his congressional office and prepares to call it a night.

The 51-year-old Democrat from Chicago regularly sleeps there. Several other members of the House of Representatives, perhaps as many as one in 10, also bunk out in their offices, according to estimates.

Quigley and other House members, who earn $174,000 a year, cite two reasons for taking advantage of this little-known perk. One is frugality. The other is image. ...

"I like to think that this reinforces the point that I live in the district, that I spend most of my time in the district, and I'm trying to be in solid contact with my constituents," he said.

But it's not just House newbies such as Quigley who are bedding down where they do business. Two other Illinois Democrats, Reps. Dan Lipinski and Luis Gutierrez, also sleep in their offices. Another, Rep. Bobby Rush, either crashes on his office sofa or a hotel bed "depending on his schedule, mood or comfort level," said Sharon Jenkins, his communications director.

On a night last week, Quigley shed his power suit and slapped a sign on the door to Room 1319 in the Longworth Building, giving fair warning to third-shift cleaning crews. "Member sleeping," it announces. "Miembro durmiente."

By morning, he would stash the mattress into a private hallway and the sheets and pillow in a metal filing cabinet. Quigley and others in what some call "In-Office Caucus" said they survive by showering in the House gym, schlepping dirty laundry home and grinning and bearing what can be a fitful night.

Charming vignettes, eh? Is this about looking cost-conscious for the voters? Or is it just a pain in the ass to maintain a part-time residence. And are members of Congress really scraping by on $174,000 plus some not-inconsiderable benefits. After all, somebody owns those office buildings and has to pay to keep the nightlights on and the showers hot.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.