THE BLOG
10/10/2013 03:54 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Phew! Head Start Is Shut Down but Gym for Congress Members Is Open for Business!

This piece first appeared on Feministing.com:

Let freedom ring! Only in America, ladies and gentleman. USA! USA! Great news, guys! You may have heard that the government shutdown GOP decision to shut down the government because it really doesn't want people who aren't wealthy to have access to health care, means that non-essential programs like, say, early education for children, cancer treatment, domestic violence services, salaries for government workers are on hold. But, thanks to the leadership and orders of John Boehner, certain very essential things, sacred things, cannot be touched by a government shutdown. Like the exclusive House Member's Gym, which provide members of Congress with a swimming pool, basketball courts, paddleball courts, a sauna, a steam room and flat screen TVs. I'm pretty sure that's what the Founding Fathers meant by inalienable rights. I mean "among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But I'm sure if they had more scroll paper and if ink hadn't been so expensive, they would have taken the time to add in treadmills, flat screens etc. And of course, the power needed to heat the pool and turn on the lights and the money for maintenance and to staff the gym.

But, lest you think these Republicans are being frivolous, please note that they have very judiciously closed down the gym where their staffers pump iron. And, these House representatives are truly representing their constituents. Just as regular people suffer the consequences of the government shutdown, the members of Congress are suffering from cut backs in essential services like towel service. These more men and women must literally carry a towel with them or risk sweating uncomfortably or air drying... possibly to death. And life is not easy for Senator Lindsey Graham who has complained that the senators' gym is "rank." You know what they say: "It will be a great day when senators and members of congress get all the money they need and cancer patients and under-served pre-schoolers have to hold bake sales for chemotherapy and education." Until then, a girl can dream.

This piece first appeared on Feministing.com.

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