“Down there you can find out what people did before they came to Congress. You can find out about their families. You can talk to them about areas of common interest,” the Iowa Democrat said. “I find it ironic that there’s this big push to shut down the House gym when it’s one of the rare places people come together and actually talk about how we can build relationships, which is the only way we’re going to get out of this.”
Braley compared the House gym to a private employer’s in-house workout facilities, noting that he pays an annual fee of about $260 to be a member.
Braley laughed off the letter from Murphy and Foster, especially the part about freshly stocked towels.
“They must not have been down to the gym lately. There’s hardly anybody working down there. There’s no towel service,” he said, adding, “We’re doing our own laundry down there.”
The gym was an issue during the 1995-1996 standoff, when it was closed and then reopened after members complained about the closure.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.