Speaker Nancy Pelosi is providing new perks for House members at the expense of taxpayers amid crushing inflation affecting ordinary Americans and a nationwide baby formula shortage.
Even as she made public statements calling the formula shortage “unconscionable” last week, her office was working to get new benefits put in place for Congress members. The two most prominent new perks are fully paid Peloton memberships and a new liquor outlet serving Capitol offices.
Several Republicans immediately called Pelosi out for her terrible timing and hypocrisy in ordering new benefit programs paid for with tax dollars while Americans battle skyrocketing costs for fuel, food, and housing. The media has also picked up on the shortage of infant formula that the Biden administration has reportedly ignored since at least February.
National Economic Council director Brian Deese told reporters that the Biden White House has been aware of the formula shortage for months. He said that the problems started at a Michigan plant that failed to meet federal safety standards, although the FDA failed to take corrective steps at the time.
Pelosi’s House Chief Administrative Officer announced a brand-new “House Drinks Storefront” in a House office building where staffers and House members can buy beer, wine, and liquor. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) tweeted out a copy of the announcement with his comment that “Washington Dems couldn’t be more out of touch.”
Ferguson also noted that Americans cannot afford to buy gas and groceries at the same time Pelosi decides it is a good time to open up a “congressional liquor store on Capitol Hill.” He added that tax dollars can be used to buy booze at the new Pelosi store.
Reporting also surfaced last week that the administrative office has decided to provide all staff, lawmakers, and Capitol Police personnel with free “VIP Peloton gym memberships.” As a “premier employee benefit” the Peloton All-Access and App memberships involved a $10,000 upfront payment to the company along with ongoing monthly fees.
The memberships go into effect on May 18 and will be available to around 10,000 people who work at the House and around 2,300 Capitol Police officers. The monthly fees to be paid to Peloton are expected to run in the neighborhood of $120,000 per month.