Some modest proposals on housing the House
Regarding the June 28 Metro article “Chaffetz: Members of Congress should get stipends to afford homes in D.C.”:
I think former congressman Jason Chaffetz (RUtah) was on to something in wanting to help members of Congress with housing. However, I’ve got another idea.
I propose the construction of a dormitory, maybe on the site of the old congressional hotel, that would provide low-cost rooms for members of Congress. Political scientists often criticize the lack of civility in Congress today based, in part, on members not spending quality time together like in the old days. A dormitory would throw Republicans and Democrats together and provide bonding experiences. Although their schedules are filled with official lunches and receptions in the evenings, maybe a boardinghouse breakfast could be provided.
Perhaps, like at many colleges and universities, the newly elected would be required to live in the congressional dorm to get bonding and civility going from the very beginning of their congressional tenures.
Don DeArmon, Frederick
Here’s an idea for former congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah): Rather than giving members of Congress a housing stipend, why don’t we pay them minimum wage and provide a low-income housing voucher? And — because they are “working” — let’s add a food-stamp allotment. And if you really want health care, just forgo that new iPhone. Try walking a mile in those shoes.
Ray and Ellen Battistelli, Silver Spring