Of Mice, Pop Tarts: Congresswomen Who Bunk at the Office
They look to save money, avoid settling down
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 6, 2014 11:20 AM CDT
In this Jan. 22, 2014 file photo, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-SD, speaks in Pierre to the South Dakota Senate.   (AP Photo/Chet Brokaw, File)

(Newser) – It's become fairly standard for some congressmen to spend both their days and nights in their offices. For what appears to be the first time, however, congresswomen are doing the same, the Wall Street Journal reports in a look at three House Republicans. "My poor staff, they have to get on the Metro, go home, get ready for bed, and I literally just go to bed," says office-sleeper Lynn Jenkins of Kansas. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington also sleep in their offices. The trio are saving time and money, but they're also keeping Washington life at arm's length. "It was never my goal to come to DC and be comfortable," says Noem.

That lack of creature comforts doesn't mean there aren't creatures. "I think my staff was surprised I did not like mice, because I come from a farm," says Noem. "I am not a fan of mice at all." And the lack of a kitchen means simple meals ranging from protein bars to Pop-Tarts. "It really is all the food groups," says Jenkins of her preference for the latter, along with ice cream. No female Democrats appear to have followed in their footsteps, notes the Journal, which puts the number of male office-dwellers at around two dozen. Gawker applauds the "actual, real-life hobos" working on Capitol Hill.

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Ezekiel 25:17
Aug 7, 2014 6:08 PM CDT
Sometimes its because a congressman was a victim of a scam artist and they cannot afford the DC rent until a few months of checks pass. This was the case of James Lankford. He lost a home to a scam home builder. It went to court and the guy filed bankruptcy on him. He opens up a new home building company the next day after bankruptcy. But thanks to Oklahoma corporate law, you can then attach the new company to the lawsuit because in this situation, bankruptcy cannot get you out of your obligations. In the end of it all, James had to settle with the guy and then live in a rent home because he did not want to try to close on another home after he won the office. So he moved into his U.S. House office and took advantage of all the amenities such as shower facilities, dining, health club, etc. He did finally save up enough to get an apartment. He is now running for the US Senate. I think I have been nice as I could have told you the political party of the guy who shafted him. It probably played a part in the deal.
Aug 6, 2014 8:30 PM CDT
Congresses approval rating is 13% so the sleepovers don't seem to be working. http://www.sanduskyregister.com/article/5962551
Aug 6, 2014 3:33 PM CDT
My question - do they still get their stipend for living quarters?