CAGW Names Rep. Bennie Thompson June 2018 Porker of the Month | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Rep. Bennie Thompson June 2018 Porker of the Month

Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) its June 2018 Porker of the month for attempting to create taxpayer-funded dorms for well-paid members of Congress.

On May 16, 2018, Rep. Thompson introduced H.R. 5845, the “No Couches for Congress Act,” which would ban members of Congress from sleeping in their offices.  He also proposed converting vacant residence halls near the Capitol into “affordable” housing for members of Congress, who make $174,000 per year.  He claimed that it would be available for members who found housing costs to be “prohibitive.”

However, the claim that housing is unaffordable is belied by the average monthly cost of a studio apartment in Washington, D.C., which is $1,602, or less than 10 percent of members’ annual salary.  The average American spends 33 percent of his or her annual income on housing.

The congressional dorm idea has been roundly panned by Rep. Thompson’s colleagues.  Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) said, “The more I think about it, the less likely I would be to support it.  It might be a breeding house for something bad.”  Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) said, “I’m here to work, not relive my college days in a taxpayer-funded dorm.”

Based on performance and income, Congress does not deserve additional benefits.  Congressional job approval is an abysmal 17 percent.  The annual spending bills have not passed on time in 20 years and the budget has not been balanced in a generation, which has exacerbated the $21 trillion national debt. 

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Public service is not supposed to be comfortable or luxurious.  Taxpayers send these men and women to Washington to work and pay them a salary that is more than three times that of an average American. Congress should focus on getting America’s fiscal house in order and spend less time trying to create a Congressional Animal House.”

For trying to create a taxpayer-funded dorm for members of Congress, CAGW names Rep. Bennie Thompson its June 2018 Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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