Heard on the Hill

New York Democrat Jokes He May Sleep in D.C. Homeless Shelter

Brian Higgins responded to proposed legislation that would stop members from sleeping in offices

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., sleeps in his congressional office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Brian Higgins said he can’t afford housing in Washington and joked that a homeless shelter could be an option for him.

“A homeless shelter may work for me. That would probably work, yeah,” the New York Democrat said to a reporter, NY State of Politics reported.

The base salary for members of Congress is $174,000 annually.

Housing came up in conversation because of a discussion over proposed legislation that would ban members from sleeping in their offices.  There are multiple reasons why members sleep in their offices, from the convenience factor to saving money while they have another home in their districts.

Higgins said he sleeps in his office.

“If members want to make an issue, they can make an issue of it. The cost of housing in Washington is very expensive. I can’t afford it. I maintain a home here in Buffalo. I can’t afford to maintain two homes,” he said.

D.C.’s high homeless population is a serious concern for the city. The city has 124 homeless residents for every 10,000 people, a 2016 report found, the highest rate of 32 cities evaluated at the time.

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