Should we bring it back the Congressional dormitory?

Based on Ana and John’s conversation on the bonus episode yesterday, it got me wondering if we should forgo paying individual expenses to lawmakers and instead offer them taxpayer-funded dormitories. We’ve had them in the past. If the taxpayer funded dormitory, which apparently they still have a plot of land they could build on, was a housing option for them and offered some basics like housekeeping and meals, they would probably be less expensive overall and force them to have to be around one another throughout the year. It would also make it easier for non-wealthy people to have some hope of having a place to live in DC and might even cut down on the necessity of corruption to pay for living there. It would be great to see similar things for campaign staffers as well since most of them are very young and early in their careers and the cost of living in DC is huge.

A piece on the Hill discussed this idea last year:

Establishing a residence for legislators would have the additional benefit of curbing the habit of cash-strapped legislators sleeping in their offices and creeping out the nightly cleaning crews. It would curb elected officials from getting sweetheart rent deals from lobbyists and using their personal office funds to pay for hotel rooms. (These dollars should go to their underpaid staffers.)

The House of Representatives already owns a site it could build upon — 501 1st St SE, where the old page building sits crumbling. Legislators could knock it down and replace it with a building with Spartan lodgings available to legislators at $50 a night payable only from their salaries.

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