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Foster Introduces Legislation to End Congressional Perks during Government Shutdown

Dec 23, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced legislation to close the gym and sauna reserved for Members of Congress during a government shutdown. The Shutdown Prioritization Act (SPA) would prohibit the Architect of the Capitol from operating the Member gym during a government shutdown. During the Trump Shutdown, not only are Members still able to access the taxpayer-funded gym, sauna, and steam room while tens of thousands of federal employees remain furloughed, but janitorial staff are still required to clean the gym and restock it with towels and other “essential items.” 

“President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ refusal to pass and sign a clean continuing resolution to reopen government is an abdication of their responsibilities as elected officials. During the Trump Shutdown, however, Republican leadership continues to deem the Congressional spa used by Members of the House of Representatives to be ‘essential.’ Speaker Ryan continues to use the gym during this shutdown while federal workers face uncertainty over the holidays. The only essential task Members of Congress have during a government shutdown is negotiating an end to the shutdown,” Foster said. “It’s time to tell President Trump and Congressional Republicans to end their Congressional perks during a shutdown and focus on getting the government up and running. We need to get federal employees back to work and to provide funding for priorities important to the American people.”

Congressman Foster is also a co-sponsor of the Federal Employees’ Retroactive Pay Fairness Act that would guarantee back pay to federal employees after a government shutdown.

Text of the Shutdown Prioritization Act is available here.