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The Editors

Kick the Squatters Out of the Capitol

Allowing members of Congress to sleep in their offices is unseemly -- and unethical.
Feels like home.

Feels like home.

Photograph: Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images

In most of the U.S., sleeping in the office is frowned upon. Two notable exceptions are Silicon Valley -- and Capitol Hill. As many as 100 members of Congress, including the speaker of the House, bunk down in their work spaces every night. For the sake of their fellow government employees and the public, they need to wake up.

The modern practice of congressional squatting dates to the 1980s, when future Majority Leader Dick Armey crashed in the House gym. The ranks of the "in-office caucus" swelled with the influx of Tea Party Republicans in 2010; some members keep wardrobes in their offices and sleep on cots or inflatable mattresses. Many portray their refusal to rent property in Washington as a mark of virtue, signifying rejection of the swamp's corrupting culture.