The House and Senate private members' gyms stay open during government shutdown

Fuzzy Shutdown Math? Exclusive Congressional Gym “Essential.”

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 8 2013 6:22 PM

Fuzzy Shutdown Math? Exclusive Congressional Gym “Essential.”

1706758
People run on treadmills at a New York Sports Club in Brooklyn, New York.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

National parks are closed, FDA food inspectors are off, the National Institutes of Health are running at a quarter speed, and, of course, hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been deemed “non-essential” and sent home when the government shutdown last week. The House and Senate gyms? Still open.   

The gyms were supposed to be shuttered as non-essential accoutrements of life on the Hill, but have remained open, ABC News reports. On the House side, the gym, available only to members of the House, is still humming along at taxpayer expense, reports Think Progress: “While towel service is unavailable, taxpayers remain on the hook for cleaning and maintenance, which has been performed daily throughout the shutdown. There are also costs associated with the power required to heat the pools and keep the lights on.”

Advertisement

On the Senate side, things are a bit muckier. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told ABC News that no one is cleaning or staffing the facility. “It’s getting to be a pretty rank place,” he said. A congressional source told ABC News that the facilities are not staffed but have been kept open to accommodate lawmakers who live in their offices while in Washington.

For a better look at how Congress keeps their endorphin levels up, take a look at Slate’s profile of the Congressional workout facilities.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.

  Slate Plus
Plus Roundups
May 21 2015 2:34 PM What We Like Right Now Our favorite picks for the week of May 18, curated by Slate writers and editors. 
  Health & Science
Family
May 22 2015 3:45 AM Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning In 10 percent of drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here’s what to look for.