CAPITOL HILL-Location, location, location are the three most important words in real estate. And members of Congress have come up with an innovative way to use those three words to increase their income without actually giving themselves an official pay raise. Congress may not be for sale, but signs being posted on office doors in both Houses boldly proclaim that they are "FOR RENT."
Longing for a prime location in the nation's capitol to do some lobbying for your favorite cause up close and personal with members of Congress? Have budding political aspirations and want to ‘test the waters' in the thick of things? Well, look no more. Senators and Representatives, whose legislative schedules include less than 100 actual workdays a year, have decided to rent out their office space during the majority of the year while they're back in their home states dispensing the bacon they're famous for making.
Spacious fully furnished offices, complete with state-of-the-art communications systems and hi-tech computer networks complete with the latest must have gadgets, are flooding the DC market. Naturally, the more senior the member, the higher the rent, but don't despair. There are plenty of newcomers to the Hill who will surely accommodate even the most Spartan of budgets on either side of the aisle. Even Independents have joined the ranks of those stopping just short of ‘selling out.' Now, they're on their way to being not just Independent, but Independently Wealthy.
Politics aside, and in keeping with the general principle of equal housing mandates, party affiliation will neither guarantee nor disqualify potential renters from getting the best office space money can buy…or, well, rent. Idle staffers are included in the deals being negotiated left and right. And, unless otherwise required for special assignment to the White House (during Democrat administrations), pages are literally ‘up for grabs.'
Separate agreements must we worked out for renters to use government vehicles normally reserved solely for members' use. However, the moderately higher than going rental rates are considerably offset by surprisingly generous gasoline kickback discounts offered by Big Oil lobbyists that more than sweeten the deal.
While Senators and Representatives are more than willing to rent out their federal offices for extended periods, their private DC residences are decidedly and understandably ‘off limits.' If they rented out those swanky digs, where would their mistresses, boy toys and homo honeys stay? I mean, they had to draw the line SOMEWHERE.
Probably the most novel aspect of ‘Congress for Rent' is that, for the renters, office maintenance, grounds upkeep and vehicle maintenance is already taken care of as part of the members' budget allotments. Renters get to enjoy the benefit of American tax dollars at work.