Dan Donovan, a US congressman passes the night in his office because he can’t afford accommodation in Washington DC. Donovan is not alone, many of his colleagues also do this because of the lack of resources.
Kristi Noem, Lynn Jenkins and Jaime Herrera Beutler are all female lawmakers but they are known to sleep in their offices. Decrying poverty amid decade-long stagnant salaries and Washington’s steep cost of living, an increasing number of lawmakers have turned into professional squatters at night.
According to a report by New York Post, out of the 435 representatives in the US, an estimate of around 100 members, including Paul Ryan, house speaker and Kevin McCarthy, majority leader, have turned into professional squatters at night in their offices while they shower at the congress gym.
Tim Walz, a member of the house of reps said, “I’m not complaining. It’s just figuring how to make all your finances work.”
Lee Zeldin said sleeping on a bed he stores in his office closet makes him more efficient but Adriano Espaillat said couch-crashing isn’t for him, even though he, too, faces a high cost of living back home in New York City.
“My couch is too hard. I’d wake up with a stiff neck every morning. I’m probably one of the poorest members of Congress,” Espaillat said.
The lawmaker from Buffalo said he used to split the rent for a basement apartment, paying $1,200 a month, but resorted to sleeping on a couch in his office when the college bills for his two kids began piling up.
Meanwhile, their Nigerian colleagues have multiple mansions in different parts of the world and don’t be surprised, if Washington D.C is on that list. Recently, Shehu Sani, lawmaker representing Kaduna central senatorial district, disclosed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million monthly as running cost.