Several members of Congress -- Democrat and Republican -- have been sleeping in their Congressional offices in Washington D.C., as oppose to finding permanent lodging in the nation's Capitol, and a government watchdog group isn't happy about it.
Three of those members of Congress happen to represent Arizona.
The executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics complaining that members of Congress squatting in their offices is a misuse of office resources.
Included on the group's list of homeless Congressmen are Representatives Ben Quayle, Jeff Flake, and Paul Gosar.
The letter raises the possibility of a number of violations stemming from the practice, including tax code violations, and breaches of House rules.
Click here to see what some of these makeshift apartments look like -- they're far from glamorous and look more like a closet with a cot than the home of a member of Congress.
Quayle's office declined comment, but he and Gosar are brand new to Congress and are likely in the process of finding some more permanent digs. In fact, Quayle told New Times last year that while he planned on having his permanent residence be in Arizona, he intended to find a place to live in D.C., as well. We'll go out on a limb and assume he didn't mean he planned to use his federally funded office as a flophouse.
As for Flake, the dude's obviously a minimalist and probably doesn't need much more than a mattress in a closet to get by -- you may recall, Flake's Congress' version of MacGyver. He went on a vacation a few years ago, in which he was dropped off on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and lived off the land for a week.
That said, Flake's been in office for a decade. It's unclear how long he's been using his office as an apartment, but it seems time he find a non-federally-funded place to live.
Should Flake get the boot from his current lodging, he'd probably be just fine gathering some bamboo chutes and setting up shop on the bank of the Potomac River.
Click here to see CREW's letter to the Congressional Ethics office.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.