Bruce Braley on Bill Glass Show

The federal government is shut down and that has caused some real pain for some Americans.  For instance Lake Mead residents have been kept from their homes, private businesses have been shutdownveterans have had access to their memorials blocked, tourists have been blocked from even viewing Mt. Rushmore from afar, and veterans are having their benefits threatened.

The list of unnecessary closures in order to inflict pain has grown.

How has Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) been impacted?  He has to do his own laundry if he wants a towel in the House gym.

He registered his complaint on a segment of the Bill Press Show:


In the full segment he also complained about the “mad dash” of some Congressman to run back to their districts.  Really?  Members of Congress should be spending more time with their constituents.  He bemoans the fact that members of Congress don’t have the time they used to have to get to know one another.  I don’t deny that is important, but getting to know your constituents is even more important.

So if Congressman Braley is elected to the U.S. Senate I guess we shouldn’t expect him to be back in Iowa much, but we will know that the Senate gym will have full towel service.

I also find it appalling that he’s complaining about having to spend $260 a year to use the House gym.  That’s $21.66 per month which is actually less than if you or I got a membership at say SnapFitness or Anytime Fitness.  Certainly less than a membership at a local YMCA (unless you get a great scholarship), and it is certainly less than many other full service gyms.

This guy is simply out-of-touch with average Iowans.

Update: In case you were wondering what some of the amenities provided by the House Gym are, here you go.  It seems that the House gym offers standard cardio and weight machines, plus a [heated] swimming pool, basketball courts, and paddleball courts. There’s also a sauna and a steam room.

But that blasted towel service!

2nd Update: David Young, a Republican candidate for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat, released a statement this afternoon.

It’s unfortunate that Congressman Braley is more concerned with the towel service at the Members Only gym than he is getting government back to work for Iowa taxpayers. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will bring my own towel to my gym, and I will do everything I can to make sure the federal government passes on time budgets, gets our fiscal house in order, and averts government shutdowns.  This is the Iowa taxpayer’s dollar and they deserve a government that works for them.

3rd Update: Other candidates weigh in.

Joni Ernst’s campaign sent this email:

This morning Congressman Bruce Braley expressed the severe difficulties he is experiencing firsthand as a result of the ongoing federal government shutdown. In this case, the congressman is having to use of the members-only, taxpayer-subsidized House gym despite no towel service being available while referencing the possibility of having to do his own laundry as well.

This afternoon the Joni Ernst for US Senate campaign sent Congressman Braley a care package that contained fresh towels and laundry detergent along with a note containing the following language: "Congressman Braley, Enjoy these fresh towels. Also, since Joni does her own laundry and you clearly do not, here is some detergent to help you get through these tough times. Regards, The Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate Campaign."

All humor aside, at a time when even our brave military veterans are not able to receive much-needed benefits, it is disturbing that Braley’s focus is on towels and laundry service. His misguided priorities show that he is more about Washington and less about proven Iowa values – Bruce Braley simply has no business representing Iowa in the United States Senate.

As a mother, soldier and a conservative, Joni Ernst stands ready to bring proven Iowa values to Washington to fix the mess that President Obama and Bruce Braley have created.

Matt Whitaker weighed in:

Congressman Bruce Braley is showing just how out of touch he is with the needs of Iowans. Our government has been shut down for the last week while our policy-makers wrestle with important matters like Obamacare and funding levels.

Meanwhile, Congressman Braley is concerned about the lack of towels in the House gym.

This is exactly what is wrong with Washington. We need someone who can help clean up the rampant dysfunction and corruption in Washington D.C.  I’ve done that as a U.S. Attorney and I promise to do that as Iowa’s next Senator.
And I’ll bring my own towels.

Sam Clovis weighed in:

Towel service?  Really?  How out of touch with the people of Iowa can one person be?  He sits at the center of the shutdown storm and is a member of a caucus that refuses to engage on responsible spending, debt reduction, deficit reduction, or any other form of fiscal policy that might lead to easing uncertainty in the American people. 

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  1. This had better be part of an ad against Braley for the general election.
    It is bad enough Braley is a member of the House. This trial lawyer narcissist should not be a US Senator.

  2. Meanwhile Steve King keeps the government in shutdown and the GOP reveals it really had no idea about the endgame for the shutdown it had planned for months. Not insubstantial news, eh?

    And on a blog that frequently discusses politics, this is the sole post about the shutdown in over a week. You’ve had none that discuss the strategy, possible outcomes, or impact on the people. There is a huge shakedown going through the Republican party – perhaps the largest in decades – and fight over its future direction, but and nary a peep here. It feels like the blog contributors are trying to straddle both sides of the fence here, not just afraid to commit to any particular position (Too risky? If someone chooses the wrong side will it affect their influence later on?), but amazingly, also too uncomfortable to even discuss it.

    I picture this like having a large, family Thanksgiving dinner including the crazy uncle who says strange things periodically. The rest of the family will talk around these interruptions, trying to ignore what he says. Except at this year’s dinner, at least half the people at the table are like the crazy uncle. No attempt at ignoring those relatives is going to work.

    1. Perhaps because we all do this on a voluntary basis.

      I know it’s not a ton, but speaking for myself I’ve just not had as much time to write at Caffeinated Thoughts because I’m focused on writing for my clients. I’ve also been upfront about my work with the Republican Party of Iowa which prevents me (or at least limits me) from weighing in too much about what is going on at the state level.

    2. BTW, the House has voted 26 times to fund different aspects of the federal government. The Senate? Zero. President Obama refuses to negotiate, whose fault is this again?

      1. I appreciate that people post as times and interested permit.

        But please Shane, you know how dodgy your argument above is. Yes, voted 26 times to a) dismantle or eliminate necessary components of the Affordable Care Act which is a non-starter or b) fund piecemeal parts of the government with typically the most photogenic and most embarrassing impacts. But not once for a clean, complete, *sequester-level* amount of funding or something that would actually move the conversation. That is pure political theater, nothing more, much like the article about King, linked below, ‘rescuing veterans’ from problems he helped create. Did he forget that two can play that game of setting up photogenic talking points? Meanwhile Meals on Wheels, which also helps feeds thousands of veterans, expects trouble because of the shutdown. One could spin this all day but it’s a pointless exercise that misses the forest for the trees. Good for sound bites at best.

        Now back to the main point of my comment…

        There has always been conflicting interests within the GOP. These often conflicting priorities have managed to remain largely contained within coalitions in the past but now it’s erupting. We have a revolt in the House GOP which the speaker and senior leaders appear to have little influence or have been fearful of controlling. We have a fearful Senate Minority Leader. McConnell, being primaried and acting like Brave Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, trying to triangulate and appease everyone in an election. We have business interests and long-term players coming into odds with the notion of a long government shutdown or worse, doing nothing with the extending debt ceiling. We’ve got organizations like the Heritage funding attack ads on other Republicans. And what we see as a result is confusing and shifting negotiation tactics about what should be the ultimate goal and exit strategy of this current show in the Capitol. It’s not that this wasn’t unexpected. Given the past few national elections it was inevitable that the GOP must undergo rebuilding and refocusing, and that this process wasn’t going to be pretty.

        What I’m saying is that “lather, rinse, repeat” retelling of partisan memes about ‘Obamacare’, ‘death panels’, ‘death culture’ and ‘etc’, add nothing to discussions about the huge causal changes that are happening *within* the GOP that we are witnessing now.

        But how and when people in the GOP are actually going to step up and pull on their big-boy pants to actually legislate is a pressing question. There is a fight for the direction of the GOP going on right now. Your readers might find it interesting. I do.

        PS: Contra Terry the Troll below, I want a viable, intelligent, counter-weight to the Democrats. That is rapidly disappearing, IMHO. It’s effectively gone in the North East and knocked to its knees in California. Demographic changes are likely to rapidly change things as well.

  3. He must come from a different planet. I guess he could care less that some of his constituents are having trouble just putting food on the table and he’s worried about his towels. Poor baby. I suggest him as a poster boy for ignorance.

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