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 BrooksAl Green says impeachment is 'only solution' to Trump's rhetoric Trump primary challenger Bill Weld responds to rally chants: 'We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP' Democratic strategist on Trump tweets: 'He's feeding this fear and hate' MORE (R-Ind.) and ranking member Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchBipartisan group of lawmakers invites colleagues to tour DC's Holocaust museum GOP senator presses Instagram, Facebook over alleged bias in content recommendations Overnight Defense: Senate rejects effort to restrict Trump on Iran | Democrats at debate vow to shore up NATO | Senate confirms chief of Space Command MORE (D-Fla.) 

ADVERTISEMENT

The Ethics Committee has yet to respond to the letter, signed by CBC Chairman Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondElection security to take back seat at Mueller hearing Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Alarm sounds over census cybersecurity concerns 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.