There’s a shocking development to our earlier story about how Republican House Speaker John Boehner had deemed the US House Gym, which contains a swimming pool and a sauna, “essential,” while closing down new cancer trials at NIH, Head Start, nutrition assistance for women, infants and children, a number of food safety inspections around the country, and the World War II memorial in Washington, DC.
The story just became even sadder for beleaguered House members.
You see, because of the Republican shutdown of the federal government, in an effort to extort the President into defunding health care reform, House members have now been forced to reuse their towels at the “essential” gym after swimming or taking a sauna.
No word yet on whether “non-essential” cancer patients at NIH are expected to re-use their cancer drugs too.
Apparently, Senators, who also have an “essential” gym, are in a similar predicament, and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham complained yesterday that the Senate gym was starting to smell “rank.”
Gosh that’s tough. Sure, some 450,000 federal workers, many making $50,00 a year or less, may not see a paycheck because of Senator Graham and his ilk, but that pales in comparison to the icky smell that Lindsey Graham has to endure when he takes his sauna.
House and Senate staff gyms, however, have been closed down. As has the US House Dry Cleaners (which begs the question why House members, who make over $170,000 a year, can’t just go to the regular dry cleaners down the block like the rest of us).
GOP Congressman Don Young of Alaska explained how essential it is for members of Congress to have a gym:
“This job is very stressful and if you don’t have a place to vent, you are going to go crazy and that’s why I’ve used it all these years,” said Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who has used the facility since 1973.
You know what else is stressful? Losing a potentially life-saving cancer treatment because some fat-ass from Alaska thought his sauna was more important.