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Heard on the Hill: A Sex Surcharge?

And here we thought paying for sex was a no-no, especially for scandal-wary Members of Congress. But Rep. Steve Buyer thinks people who engage in the act (specifically, the kind that takes place sans protection) should have to pony up.

The Indiana Republican floated his unlikely cash-for-sex proposal Thursday during the markup of the health care bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Under the plan Buyer posited, those who engage in risky behavior, like smoking, not exercising and (ding, ding!) having unprotected sex, should have to pay a premium for their health care. After all, the reasoning goes, those people are more likely to incur higher health care costs than cigarette-eschewing, condom-wearing gym bunnies.

“Someone who smokes, drinks, participates in bad conduct and behavior, unprotected sex, maybe bad things happen to them, maybe they should pay higher premiums,” he mused. “That is a radical thought, isn’t it?”

And HOH should note that under such a scheme, at least one of his former colleagues might see his health care costs go up: Former Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) fathered a love child and so presumably would get hit with the unprotected-sex surcharge.

Also, we have to wonder how such a plan might be enforced, since we can’t imagine many people would fess up to sneaking a ciggie or skipping a workout, let alone forgoing condoms.

Fast Food. Congress has a full legislative plate these days, making it hard for Members to find time for a decent meal — and as a result, many are eating like college students cramming for finals.

Facing a late vote Thursday night, Democratic Senators feasted on takeout Chinese food in the chamber’s cloakroom. Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) even tweeted about it, making sure to note that the food was “paid for personally by Senators NOT by taxpayers.” And about an hour later, McCaskill showed a bit of remorse over the not-so-healthy meal, posting: “now that I think about it, I should eat less!”

Just a few blocks from the Capitol, Sen. John Ensign proved that when the going gets tough, the tough get burgers.

HOH spotted the Nevada Republican (shirt and tie, no suit jacket) on Thursday evening leaving burger hotspot Good Stuff Eatery with a gaggle of what looked to be staffers. But the tasty fare didn’t seem to have done much to cheer up the sex-with-a-staffer-scandal-plagued Ensign, who looked grim as he left the eatery.

Maybe the GOPer isn’t a fan of the eatery’s “Prez Obama Burger”?

But the Senate wasn’t the only chamber grabbing a quick bite. While trying to power through a tedious, all-day markup Friday, House Appropriations Committee members nibbled on beef jerky and Georgia peanuts, an HOH spy reported. Staffers gave Members their own bags of the nuts, while Members shared the jerky. To ward off afternoon hunger pangs as the session wore on, Members were spotted munching out of small bags of SunChips.

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