You thought kids losing cancer drugs was bad. The shutdown is forcing House members to reuse gym towels.

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.

house-gym-featured

The US House Gym.

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.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Jim Olson

    While they are working less days in actual session, many of them do put in a lot more days back in their districts. I know mine does. Their jobs are a lot like being clergy. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. I’m not defending them, I’m just suggesting that the in-session calendar is not an accurate measure of the totality of their work. Like all professions, there are some who shirk the extra work, and some who do too much.

  • Jim Olson

    You know, for a government shutdown, there sure is a lot of it still open.

  • BillFromDover

    Most of ‘em are already infected with a chronic case of bigotry.

    Does anybody actually think this whole mess is about Obamacare rather than just slapping down that uppity negro in the White House?

  • BillFromDover

    Smallpox for Chickenhawks?

  • BillFromDover

    But, ain’t it nice to know that the gym is considered an essential service and thereby remains open for these asshats.

    Meanwhile, unessential children are going hungry.

    Is this what they mean when they talk about American exceptionalism?

  • gratuitous

    I don’t begrudge members of Congress their little perks like a gym or a dry
    cleaner. But it is extremely tacky to be complaining about smelly towels or mixing
    with the hoi polloi at the dry cleaner when people are dying because of their
    inability to do their jobs. But it is a measure of just how out of touch these
    nitwits are that they don’t recognize the extremely bad optics here. Just as
    bad, though, is the popular media that don’t think these overpampered
    complaints are out of line.

  • fletcher

    Instead of towels can we give them pieces of those blankets the cavalry gave the Indians that used to live in Yosemite?

  • barbarajmay

    Amen, John

  • Badgerite

    Words fail me. This may be where we get out the pitchforks and come storming into Washington looking for them.

  • Indigo

    I’ve seen those F-book calls for assassination. If I see one again, I’ll go ahead and report it to the Secret Service and the FBI. I hadn’t thought to do that, thanks for the hint.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    LOL. Well, that’s a better solution! :)

  • Thom Allen

    Some people are trying to call attention to just this very issue: http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/charge-house-republicans-with-sedition

    Some people on Facebook and other sites are calling for President Obama to be assassinated. I wonder if the Secret Service and FBI are investigating those people?

  • Indigo

    Thomas Hobbes claims in ‘Leviathan’ (1651) that the only duty of the citizen is to obey. From such British nonsense rises the tom-foolery of the Roberts court and the nonsense of the Right Wing Terrorists currently holding the government hostage by subversion. My only concern is that the president is too easily intimidated to order their arrest and imprisonment for trial on the charge of seditious conspiracy.

  • Indigo

    So it’s all true . . . they stink!

  • Anonymous

    How long until they yap that it’s “a part of God’s plan” that they have money and cancer kids don’t? That’s what they’ve said so far when out of ideas. I’ve realized they’re just too dumb to know when they’re being dumb. Like the Congressman that said he wouldn’t want to lose pay because “he has a nice house.”

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    My outrage meter just broke. Sending you the bill for repairs, John.

    ;-)

  • benb

    Nov 2012: “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released the 2013 schedule for the House today, and its members will be in session for just 126 days…. By comparison, the average American worker puts in around 230 days per year.”

    http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/30/official-2013-house-of-representatives-calendar-has-members-in-session-one-third-of-the-year/

  • Dakotahgeo

    Ohhhhhhh, these pooooorrrrrrr Rethuglican/TeaParty baaaabies! They’re STARTING to smell bad??? They’ve been smelling pretty damn bad for quite a few years!!! Maybe Rev. Alllllbert Moehler from the Southern Bastar…errr, Baptist Convention can pray for their frickin’ healing!!! These conservative bastards make me want to vomit all over their credentials! They are legally killing people, getting away with it, and have the temerity to complain about using their towels over again! Hang ‘em high in the next elections!!

  • devlzadvocate

    Aaron Schock will have no reason to be in DC.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Young has been in Congress for way too long, and has obviously forgotten what he is supposed to be doing there. He is a perfect example of why we need term limits for members of Congress. Remember the ‘bridge to nowhere’ that damaged Senator Ted Stevens so badly? Guess who also supported it? Not to mention going along with every bit of deregulation that lead to the economic meltdown. Young is an out of touch nut, and is only getting worse in his old age.

  • Thom Allen

    Disagree. With a lot of medical staff furloughed, I hope they all DO get infections and more. Of course, they’d probably just usurp the veterans’ doctors from Walter Reed to treat them. Total asshats.

  • Thom Allen

    What’s startling is that they really BELIEVE that they’re ENTITLED to this. And their base (which is at least as base as they are), would agree. Must be nice to be elected to Congress and suddenly become born to the purple at the same time. Then to complain about reusing towels when people are dying because of their actions is truly criminal.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    And with a lot of medical staff furloughed I hope they don’t get an infection.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Oh no! Poor Lindsey.

    I guess Mr. Young has never heard of jogging.

  • nicho

    Worse still, the “towel boys” have been furloughed. And now what’s the point of even going to the gym?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I used to temp in lower manhattan. These spoiled entitled assholes remind me of the assholes I used to work for. (Note: that is a gender-neutral insult. Plenty of them were women.) One of them called and left me a nasty email because she didn’t get upgraded on one leg of a flight even though I told her when she picked that flight over the earlier one that business class was already full and there would probably not be an upgrade. I forwarded the voicemail to HR and told them they had until the end of the week to find someone else for the job. (I would have just quit but I liked the other two people I was working for. I must not have been too bad because after they fired the perm person who replaced me they tried to force me to go back and work for her again. I’d have rather been homeless and dumpster dived for my dinner than work for her again and I told them so. But that’s another story.

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