by Molly Prince
Democratic Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois introduced legislation that would prevent Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other lawmakers from having access to the congressional fitness center during the government shutdown.
“I introduced a bill to close the Congressional gym during a government shutdown,” Foster tweeted Sunday. “[Speaker Ryan] continues to use it during the #TrumpShowdown as federal workers face uncertainty over the holidays. The only task we have right now is ending the #TrumpShutdown.”
I introduced a bill to close the Congressional gym during a government shutdown. @SpeakerRyan continues to use it during the #TrumpShutdown as federal workers face uncertainty over the holidays. The only task we have right now is ending the #TrumpShutdown. https://t.co/kB5k7SFCeD
— Bill Foster (@RepBillFoster) December 23, 2018
While the fitness center is available to all members of Congress, the proposed legislation, known as the Shutdown Prioritization Act, takes aim at Ryan, banning him and other members from using any of the amenities including the gym, sauna and steam room.
Ryan is a noted gym enthusiast. He was previously a fitness trainer and leads an intense P90X workout class when Congress is in session.
“Republican leadership continues to deem the Congressional spa used by Members of the House of Representatives to be ‘essential,’” Foster wrote in a statement. “Speaker Ryan continues to use the gym during this shutdown while federal workers face uncertainty over the holidays. The only essential task Members of Congress have during a government shutdown is negotiating an end to the shutdown.”
The House passed a stopgap funding bill Thursday that included funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. However, Senate Republicans were not able to get the necessary 60 votes needed to send the bill to the president’s desk, and a partial government shutdown went into effect Saturday, ceasing all non-essential government operations.
“It’s time to tell President [Donald] Trump and Congressional Republicans to end their Congressional perks during a shutdown and focus on getting the government up and running,” Foster continued. “We need to get federal employees back to work and to provide funding for priorities important to the American people.”
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