Dems call for investigation into lawmakers who sleep at the Capitol
© Getty Images

Dozens of House Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation into the habit many lawmakers seem to have of sleeping in their congressional office, something that critics say is improper and unsanitary.

In a December letter signed by 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) obtained by Politico, the Democrats called for a probe into whether the "problematic" practice violated federal law.

"Members who sleep overnight in their offices receive free lodging, free cable, free security, free cleaning services, and utilizie other utilities free of charge in direct violation of the ethics rules which prohibit official resources from being used for personal purposes," the members wrote in a letter to House Ethics Committee Chairwoman Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksOregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden won't seek reelection Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (R-Ind.) and ranking member Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchEthics sends memo to lawmakers on SCIF etiquette Pelosi signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib MORE (D-Fla.) 


The Ethics Committee has yet to respond to the letter, signed by CBC Chairman Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondTwo former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Election security funds caught in crosshairs of spending debate Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks MORE (D-La.) and other top Democrats, even though it requested a response by Jan. 5. CBC members are reportedly preparing to send another letter, making it the third official call for action on the issue.

The Democrats recommend in the letter that if the Ethics Committee allows lawmakers to sleep in their offices that the members be taxed "at the fair market value of a Capitol Hill apartment" to disincentivize the practice.

Some members said they took issue with a number Republicans regularly sleeping in their congressional offices, living for free in a government building, while advocating cuts to welfare programs.

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.