I posted earlier about Norm Ornstein’s lament that members of Congress spend less time in the capital, resist moving their families to Washington, have less opportunity to get to know their colleagues in a personal way, and his view that this contributes to the inability to work across party lines.
“The best way to encourage civil discourse is for people to get to know each other as people; it is very hard to call a colleague a treasonous pig if you have spent time with his or her family on the sidelines of a kid’s soccer game,” he wrote.
True, buying a house can be financially risky. But some newly minted House members won’t even rent an apartment (too expensive), get a roommate (too competitive), or join one of those Capitol Hill grouphouses (too notorious). No thanks, they’d rather sleep in their offices with the rats.
There are logistical hurdles to consider. Every new member’s office comes equipped with basic furniture and a couch, but the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer said it did not provide futons, sleeper-sofas or air mattresses. Every office also includes a bathroom and sink, but when it comes to showers, members will find themselves heading to the members’ gym in the Rayburn House Office Building.
“A robe?” asked Mr. Walsh, who admitted that he is “not a real solid details guy” and that he had not yet puzzled out all the specifics of his living situation. “I’m a big sweats guy, so I imagine I’ll sneak down in my sweats and a T-shirt, because I’m going to want to work out.”