Where Congress sleeps

by Karen Topakian

Today’s New York Times reports that a dozen freshmen congressmen will not be renting apartments while serving in office. Instead they will be sleeping in their office. On their couches. On inflatable mattresses. In sleeping bags.

That means their office will be their residence. If so, should the federal government convert the Longworth House Office building to residential?

Residential building code requirements generally include more stringent heating, plumbing, fire and safety code requirements than commercial buildings. Will the federal government make those changes to protect the lives and safety of the sleeping elected officials?

Residential building code requirements require proper bathing facilities. Each congressional office only comes equipped with a toilet and sink. But no showers. One elected official, Congressmember Joe Wilson (R) Illinois, said he would bathe at the Rayburn gym. Located in another building.  But he doesn’t own a bathrobe.

Some practical questions arise.

Where will they store their dirty laundry? How will they do their laundry? Hang their wet undies on the curtain rods.

One freshman said he would eat pop tarts and popcorn since he wouldn’t be able to cook anywhere. Numerous scientific studies show that a steady diet of junk food can severely impair one’s cognition.

Finally, will their lack of a residence entitle them to be counted amongst D.C.’s homeless?

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