Separate but Equal: Congressional Staff Gym Closed

by Jonathan Strong

As others have noted in recent days, while the government is shut down, a special congressional gym for Members of Congress remains open. Some lawmakers have noted that the gym serves a particularly important purpose beyond exercise: for a small cadre of representatives who live in their office, the gym provides a shower to use every morning.

But while the Members’ gym is open, another gym for congressional staffers, in the bowels of the Rayburn building, has been closed. That’s provoking some anger from aides. Not only is it unequal treatment from the members they work long hours to serve, but staffers actually pay to use their gym.

“I’m at work but not getting paid, will lose my health care at the end of the year, probably pay double for it, and I can’t even take it out on gym equipment I pay for,” says one GOP House aide.  

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