Ben Quayle, Paul Gosar, and Jeff Flake Sleeping in Congressional Offices (Not Together). Watchdog Group Pissy

congressdorm.jpg
The Congressional Inn: No vacancy.
Several members of Congress -- Democrat and Republican -- have been sleeping in their Congressional offices in Washington D.C., as oppose to finding permanent lodging in the nation's Capitol, and a government watchdog group isn't happy about it.

Three of those members of Congress happen to represent Arizona.

The executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics complaining that members of Congress squatting in their offices is a misuse of office resources.

Included on the group's list of homeless Congressmen are Representatives Ben Quayle, Jeff Flake, and Paul Gosar.

The letter raises the possibility of a number of violations stemming from the practice, including tax code violations, and breaches of House rules.

Click here to see what some of these makeshift apartments look like -- they're far from glamorous and look more like a closet with a cot than the home of a member of Congress.

Quayle's office declined comment, but he and Gosar are brand new to Congress and are likely in the process of finding some more permanent digs. In fact, Quayle told New Times last year that while he planned on having his permanent residence be in Arizona, he intended to find a place to live in D.C., as well. We'll go out on a limb and assume he didn't mean he planned to use his federally funded office as a flophouse.

As for Flake, the dude's obviously a minimalist and probably doesn't need much more than a mattress in a closet to get by -- you may recall, Flake's Congress' version of MacGyver. He went on a vacation a few years ago, in which he was dropped off on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and lived off the land for a week.

That said, Flake's been in office for a decade. It's unclear how long he's been using his office as an apartment, but it seems time he find a non-federally-funded place to live.

Should Flake get the boot from his current lodging, he'd probably be just fine gathering some bamboo chutes and setting up shop on the bank of the Potomac River.

Click here to see CREW's letter to the Congressional Ethics office.
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13 comments
Sandro Rettinger
Sandro Rettinger

Clearly, this is much worse than spending trillions of dollars we don't have, or passing a law mandating that everyone purchase a service they may not actually want.

Rick Caird
Rick Caird

LOL - Perfect Sandro. On a scale of 1 to 1000 where the smaller the problem the higher the value, this is about a 4900. Who cares and why? This watchdog is watching the wrong house.

PolitiKKKally KKKorrct
PolitiKKKally KKKorrct

I wonder if they are using their offices as One Night Stands too. Sounds filthy in there. With their dry semen stains on the desk. No wonder its bad.

Suburbanbanshee
Suburbanbanshee

Some Congressmen have always slept in their offices. Especially if they do a lot of late night votes, or they have to get up at 3 in the morning to get their speech on C-SPAN.

Max Fischer
Max Fischer

I'm not seeing the problem. If they want to crash out in their office, more power to them, just don't bitch when they cleaners are doing their jobs. Do they get a housing stipend? I don't think so, and as others have said, DC is super expensive.

Nweng
Nweng

It's a little nit-picky; but, a quick search online shows:

"the MRA may not be used to pay for any expenses related to activities or events that are primarily social in nature, personal expenses, campaign or political expenses, or House committee expenses."

and

"The MRA may be used only for official expenses;"

Googled on "congress member representational allowance"

botanybay
botanybay

Plenty of congressmen get together and share cheap apartments, the same way airline pilots do (flophouses). Dunno why these guys can't just do that. Heck, they could room with some airline pilots.

It'sJustLikeCollege!!!
It'sJustLikeCollege!!!

"It is unseemly for members of Congress to sleep in House offices . . . It is also distasteful for members who sleep in their offices to wander the halls in sweat clothes or robes in search of a shower." Not to mention their offices smelling of morning breath and night farts, playing catch and strumming guitars in the hallways after hours, and the empty pizza boxes and beer cans left in the lobbies.

Rob
Rob

I'm missing what the problem is here?

Have they checked the rates on DC hotels in the last 10 years? Christ, even a DC Holiday Inn is $200 a night!

Or, they'd prefer them to find some "flophouse" brownstone in Georgetown?

Docbob498th
Docbob498th

Problem is: No respectable flophouse manager will rent to them.

Docbob498th
Docbob498th

All three of them should "Come Out of the Closet."

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

Wow, Congress folks being "homeless" is new to me. Now that this is no secret, they now fully understand what its like to be "homeless". And perhaps do something to lower the cost of living, for middle and working class America.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

That is not the worst thing that a Congressperson has ever done.

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