Amber Randall, DCNF
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members are aiming to crack down on lawmakers who sleep in their offices in the Capitol, calling the practice “unsanitary.”
Members of the CBC argued that lawmakers sleeping in their offices represented an abuse of taxpayer funds in a letter requesting an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, as reported by Politico.
“There’s something unsanitary about bringing people to your office who are talking about public policy where you spent the night, and that’s unhealthy, unsanitary — and some people would say it’s almost nasty,” Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, told Politico.
The Dec. 13 letter, sent to House Ethics Committee Susan Brooks and ranking member Ted Deutch, said members sleeping in their offices could create a “hostile work environment” as staffers may walk in while a lawmaker isn’t properly clothed.
“Members who sleep overnight in their offices receive free lodging, free cable, free security, free cleaning services, and utilize other utilities free of charge in direct violation of the ethics rules which prohibit official resources from being used for personal purposes,” the letter also points out.
CBC members said they didn’t receive a response by the Jan. 5 deadline they gave the House Ethics Committee.
Both male and female lawmakers have taken to sleeping in their offices, with many saying it wasn’t particularly problematic as they had locks on their doors and took care to be decent before staff show up.
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