Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a statement from Rep. Matt Gaetz.
The next time you find yourself choosing between buying some meat at the grocery store and filling up your gas tank, consider this: Your hard-earned, easily spent tax dollars are going to pay the rent on swanky D.C. digs for millionaire members of Congress.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, “Taxpayers are funding luxury housing accommodations for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and over 200 other members of Congress, many of whom boast net worths over $1 million.”
“As one of their last actions with their majority, Democrats quietly tucked a provision into internal House rules that grants lawmakers access to an optional $34,000 annual subsidy to pay for their Washington, D.C., housing and meal expenses,” reports Andrew Kerr for the Free Beacon. “Taxpayers have doled out over $8,700 to pay for the democratic socialist’s lodging and meals throughout the first half of 2023, records show.”
At least 17 millionaire Democrats are among the 113 Democrats and 104 Republicans who have taken advantage of the program, to the collective taxpayer tune of $1.4 million during the first half of 2023.
Recipients include “Rep. Katie Porter, who reported a net worth of up to $1.8 million in her latest financial disclosure, and House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D., Mass.), who boasts a net worth of up to $13.5 million,” Kerr reports.
Remember when Squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that the unaffordability of D.C. rent and lawmakers’ salary of just $174,000 — “well over twice the median household income,” according to Kerr — is “one of many ways Congress structures itself to exclude and push out the few working class people who *do* get elected”?
“These systems are built for people who can lean on wealth,” she stated.
Thanks at least in part to taxpayers, the Democratic Socialist “rented an apartment in a luxury Washington, D.C., building that boasts amenities including a rooftop pool and indoor golf simulator.”
Other Squad members have also benefited from the program.
“Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has billed taxpayers over $14,000 for lodging and meals during the first half of 2023,” Kerr reveals. “Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) has received $6,800 from taxpayers to pay for her lodging and meals.”
And you know that New York Democrat who was just fined for deliberately pulling a fire alarm in a House office building in September? Well, Rep. Jamaal Bowman — yet another member of the Squad clique — has used $6,200 of your money to pay for his rent and meals.
“Bowman reported in his latest financial disclosure that his wife owns a pension valued at over $50 million, though his office told the Free Beacon in September that the asset is worth just $50,000,” Kerr writes. “The filing has yet to be amended.”
But, to be fair, Democrats aren’t the only ones living their best D.C. lives on your dough.
“Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) received the largest share of funds out of any lawmaker,” according to Kerr. “The Florida Republican, who led the effort to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in part due to his budgetary policies, has billed taxpayers nearly $17,000 from January through May to pay for his D.C. living expenses. Gaetz received an additional $6,200 to pay for his meals during the same timeframe, an average of over $1,250 per month.”
“Gaetz’s wife, Ginger Gaetz, frequently brags on social media that the Florida Republican is a great chef and posts pictures of his culinary creations from their Washington, D.C., residence,” Kerr continues. “Gaetz told the Free Beacon his taxpayer-funded meals are made with discount buy-one-get-one-free products.”
“I’ve complied with the law, and my cooking is often with discount BOGO products. I try to do the best in the kitchen from the BOGO life,” he explained. “During my time in Congress, I’ve returned over $860,000 to taxpayers from the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA).”
Perks of having a chef husband pic.twitter.com/Il9NU0wFDN
— Ginger Gaetz (@LuckeyGinger) October 17, 2023
It’s enough to make struggling Americans scream.
“Let me see the average mortgage is $1500/month and the average family grocery bill is $1100/month. The average household income in America is $75000/year. But the average American has to pay for a member of Congress’s food and lodging @ $174,000/yr.,” calculated one user on X. “Unbelievable. Fire them all.”
Let me see the average mortgage is $1500/month and the average family grocery bill is $1100/month. The average household income in America is $75000/year. But the average American has to pay for a member of Congress’s food and lodging @ $174,000/yr. Unbelievable. Fire them all
— jack Lykins (@jacklykins) November 2, 2023
End the gravy train for members of congress
— Bearfort (@So_ynoT) November 2, 2023
Turn one of the underused or abandoned federally owned buildings into a dorm where they can have “free” housing but no subsidies for living “off-campus” and they can get three meals a day at the cafeteria, no lobbyists allowed.
— Mr HERO(by demand) ️ (@whoismrzero) November 2, 2023
“I’ve got a better idea,” one user proposed. “With technology today, there’s no reason these losers need to be in DC. Meetings, votes, etc, could be by Zoom. Make them stay in a dinky office in a strip mall in their Districts.
“Guaranteed no one would be fighting to spend 16 terms in Office.”
I’ve got a better idea. With technology today, there’s no reason these losers need to be in DC. Meetings, votes, etc, could be by Zoom. Make them stay in a dinky office in a strip mall in their Districts. Guaranteed no one would be fighting to spend 16 terms in Office.
— Chicago Cop (@chicago_co37632) November 3, 2023
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