The Congressional Black Caucus has called for an investigation into lawmakers habitually using their office as a sleeping area instead of solely for work, citing the waste of taxpayers' dollars. Late last year, around 24 Democrats reported to the Ethics Committee that too many lawmakers were using their offices as if they were hotels.
A letter to Ethics Committee Chairwoman Susan Brooks read:
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.
Others have expressed that, with the #MeToo movement bringing light to the habitual sexual harassment in Washington, congressmen sleeping in their offices exacerbates a climate of discomfort for women.
Constituents took to Twitter to have their say:
They are all millionaires. I don't care how expensive DC is...rent your own Apt. Tax payers should not subsidize your housing costs.— Cheryl L Abbate (@cheryllabbate) March 6, 2018
So apparently a huge number of Members of Congress sleep in their offices every night at taxpayer expense for utilities, cleaning etc. No surprise that it is most common among male Republican congressmen. If they can find a way to profit off us they will! https://t.co/Uweebg6DEo— P. Libertatum (@PLibertatum) March 6, 2018
They don't want to pay the $2500/month it would cost them 4 a 1 Bedroom apartment in DC while the rest of us here suffer under the weight of our rent.— Mike Moghul #FBR 🌈🇳🇱 (@mykelmoghul) March 6, 2018
Others didn't see the problem:
Why rent, furnish, and heat another home for only 120 days of work a year? I applaud any member of Congress sleeping in their office.— Crow (@sistercrow) March 6, 2018
I think they should be able to, if they have alot of work on their agenda, just my opinion— Tea (@TeaClark3) March 6, 2018
Some people even floated the idea of a Congressional dorm:
I still want Congress to buy a building, pair up and live in dorm rooms. Compromise happens better when you're forced to share toilets. Plus when the shutdown happens they'd have to clean their own place. That'd solve it super fast. And they'd be well rested from not sleeping— timothy o'connell (@hvhtim) January 18, 2018
While highly-paid lawmakers using their offices as a free living space may be ethically questionable, Paul Ryan and others have said it's a common practice and one they don't intend to cease.