Making It Easier for the Less Wealthy to Serve in Congress
Plus: What Linda Chavez Saw at the Southern Border
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JOHN D. RACKEY AND DANIEL SCHUMAN: Making It Easier for the Less Wealthy to Serve in Congress.
Gregg Harper quit his government job because he couldn’t afford to provide for his adult son, who has Fragile X Syndrome. In an unusual twist, he was a member of Congress. In fact, all members of Congress have seen their effective paycheck shrink over the years. Members of Congress are often thought of as wealthy—and many of them are. But scores of them have an average net worth below that of the median American household of $121,700. According to OpenSecrets, Harper’s last reported net worth was in the negative by $365,001.
It is hard for people of modest backgrounds to afford to serve in Congress. Washington, D.C.’s housing and food expenses are among the highest in the country. When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first arrived in 2018, she couldn’t afford an apartment because she wasn’t wealthy, hadn’t yet received a paycheck, and, as required by law, maintained a residence back in New York. Rep. Maxwell Frost, who started his freshman term in January, was denied an apartment because he had bad credit. While both these representatives did manage to obtain their own housing, nearly one hundred members of Congress sleep in their offices.
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LINDA CHAVEZ: What I Saw at the Southern Border.
From the outside, Casa Alitas Drexel Center for Migrants is not the most inviting structure. Surrounded by tall metal fencing in an industrial area off Interstate 19 southwest of Tucson, the large cinderblock building sits on stark desert land with the sun beating down mercilessly even in late spring. Spacious white tents at the back of the building are filled with folding chairs and tables at the front have water dispensers for the 500 or so men who are off-loaded from Customs and Border Protection buses each day. Casa Alitas is operated as a joint program by Pima County and Catholic Community Services to give temporary shelter to those who claim asylum in the United States or are otherwise released by border patrol after being processed. Families end up at a separate Casa Alitas facility near the courthouse in Tucson, while single men stay at the Drexel location.
FROM THE BULWARK ARCHIVES🗄️:
Amanda called it last January, and today, the DOJ went 4/5 on the sedition charges it brought against leaders of the Proud Boys. “Sounds like sedition, all right” Amanda concluded. Stand back and stand by… for sedition, guilty as charged.
Happy Thursday! Hope you’ll come get smart tonight with Amb. Eric Edelman on Thursday Night Bulwark. I am on every TNB because I have to—I wish Zoom would fix the chat settings, too!—but if I didn’t have to be, I would tonight because Amb. Edelman is one of my favorite guests and contributors. Be there or be square. It’s not every day you can get an update from a two-time U.S. Ambassador and Undersecretary of Defense and ask questions. (Unless you enroll at Johns Hopkins.)
Tick, tock… We may have until the end of the month regarding the debt limit, but we have even fewer legislative days.
Texas braces for brownouts. The Lone Star electrical grid state might have a stinky summer.
Making matters worse… FEMA is shorthanded.
Speaking of power… Take a trip inside an abandoned GE high voltage lab.
Let them eat cake? Gov. DeSantis’s front-desk operation needs some optics training, unless they were going for this. Which, to be fair, they might have been.
Meanwhile, in Saint Louis… The city prosecutor’s office continued to lose people, and as a result, cases. Thankfully, she is resigning. 🎉
… and in North Carolina… The GOP frontrunner for governor was discovered to have mocked school shooting survivors and justified shooting protesters.
They’re not literally his children… With all of the chaff being thrown up today to defend Clarence Thomas, I’m reminded of The Big Lebowski.
While losing candidate Kari Lake toured Hungary with the Orban curious CPAC crowd… Her lawyer was sanctioned for making false statements to the court.
Getting a dog is always a good idea… Ben Dreyfuss on how his pandemic pup helped him to learn to accept being loved.
DeSantis backers… Are trying to push out Glenn Youngkin, arguing the timing doesn’t add up for him to make the ballot.
For a laugh… Here’s Ted Cruz telling a reporter that his podcast is a “critical” part of being a good Senator, a job he clearly has little interest in.
Behold… The power of bees.
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