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The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California is getting new taxpayer-funded benefits and perks even as average Americans continue to struggle with inflation and a shortage of baby formula.
Pelosi “belatedly jumped into America’s baby formula crisis on Friday, calling nationwide shortages “unconscionable” and setting an emergency vote next week. But while she tried to get Democrats caught up on a crisis that caught them by surprise, her administrative office was busy ramping up new perks for lawmakers,” Just the News has reported.
Members of the House were told about a pair of new perks this week, thanks to the Democratic leadership: Fully paid memberships to Peloton gyms and a brand-new liquor and drinks outlet.
The timing could not be worse, Republicans immediately charged, because Americans continue to suffer under historically high inflation, which has seen gas, diesel, food, and housing costs soar since President Joe Biden took office.
On top of that, the country is now facing a mounting shortage of baby formula that the administration reportedly saw coming in February but did nothing to counteract.
“Washington Dems couldn’t be more out of touch,” Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) wrote as he tweeted out a new announcement by the House Chief Administrative Officer announcing a new “House Drinks storefront” in the Rayburn House Office Building where lawmakers and staff can buy beverages, wine and liquor.
“Whether you’re hosting a meeting or an office event or just want to stock up on your favorite drinks, House Drinks sells water, soda, juice, alcohol and spirits,” the announcement said. “Six, twelve and 24-packs are available depending on the drink.”
Ferguson, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, added: “Americans can’t afford to buy groceries or put gas in their cars, and Nancy Pelosi decides now is a good time to open a congressional liquor store on Capitol Hill. And yes, your tax dollars can be used for purchases.”
Americans can’t afford to buy groceries or put gas in their cars, and Nancy Pelosi decides now is a good time to open a congressional liquor store on Capitol Hill.
And yes, your tax dollars can be used for purchases.
— Congressman Drew Ferguson (@RepDrewFerguson) May 13, 2022
Just the News noted further:
Meanwhile, multiple members of Congress confirmed to Just the News that the Chief Administrative Officer has also decided to provide all lawmakers, staff and Capitol Police officers with free VIP memberships to Peloton gyms.
An email obtained by Fox Business said the “premier employee benefit” will provide employees with both Peloton All-Access and a Peloton App membership at no monthly cost. The network said the deal involved a $10,000 upfront payment and $10 per month per staffer who used the perk.
Peloton confirmed to Fox Business that the “the US House of Representatives is extending Peloton Corporate Wellness to all House staff and Capitol police.”
FOX Business noted that the Peloton fitness memberships will begin on May 18 and be offered to the estimated 10,000 people who work for the House of Representatives, as well as some 2,300 Capitol Police officers. The cost of the contract involves an upfront fee of $10,000 plus another $10 per month charge for each member, staffer, and officer who utilizes the benefit.
If 12,000 staffers take advantage of the benefit, taxpayers would be on the hook for an additional $120,000 per month. For average Americans, the cost of a Peloton All-Access Membership goes for $39 per month while a Peloton App membership is $12.99 monthly.
The email sent from the office of the CAO told the staffers and officers they would “have access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, across multiple disciplines, that are available for streaming across multiple devices and require no purchase of Peloton equipment.”
According to The Daily Caller, the director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, told CNN that the administration was aware of the impending baby formula shortage months ago.
“The administration has been on this from the get-go. A lot of this emanated from a plant in Michigan that was producing formula that didn’t meet safety standards,” Deese said.
“As a parent, and with friends and colleagues, we were aware that people were starting to have trouble in stores, but we were aware of this from when the FDA had to take its action back in February, with Abbott and with the steps in the Michigan facility. And we have had a team on this from the FDA and in the interagency process since then,” Deese added.