“Since I’m here on a temporary basis, I don’t see any need to have a permanent kind of residence,” says Rep.-elect Joe Heck, a Nevada Republican, who was thinking roll-out cot when he looked at office space this month…
The class of 2010 is arriving in Washington during the worst economic crisis since the Depression, carried into town atop a surge of anti-incumbent anger that swept many longtime Capitol denizens aside. For them, appearances and substance merge.
Freshman Todd Rokita (R., Ind.) was floored when shown a 600-square-foot, $2,000-a-month studio. He’ll sleep in his office instead. “I’m not doing this as a political stunt,” he says. “I’m doing this because I’m a cheap b—.” Most House members earn $174,000 a year and maintain homes in their districts.
“I don’t want to be comfortable in Washington because I need to get back to metro Detroit,” says Democrat Clarke Hansen, another office sleeper-elect. “Businesses are struggling right now. Families are struggling. I’m only in Washington to work.”