It’s a hot day in Washington DC but perhaps a tad bit hotter within the walls of the Capitol. As I mentioned to those of you who follow me on twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, I’m in Washington DC helping to cover the debt ceiling negotiations. I just returned from The Capitol and took some pictures to share with you.
Despite the heated debate and tit for tat going on between the Republicans and Democrats, I was astonished to find that the halls of the Capitol quite empty. As you can see to the left, the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building are as deserted as a ghost town.
The Senate offices, House offices, and Capitol are connected by a network of underground tunnels. I used to work in the House for former Congressman Adam Putnam, and I can assure you that these underground connecting halls are swarming with people, especially during the weekdays. It’s surprising to see them so empty given that the members had to remain on the Hill this weekend.
In one of the Russell hallways of the underground tunnel network, is “Senate Hair Care,” the congressional barber shop which I’ve always found amusing. Senators and Congressmen used to receive free haircuts, but now they must pay to get a snazzy new look. Senators, Congressmen, staffers, and even visitors can get a cut for $20. Why so cheap? Keep reading.
Surprise! Taxpayer dollars go to Senate Hair Care. This is why the congressional barber shop can offer a discounted rate. According to the “2010 Detail of Appropriations, Outlays, and Balances” report, $33,387 taxpayer dollars went to Senate Hair Care. You can even get your shoes shined! Maybe we can cut this and similar expenditures to help solve our debt woes. How many of you would miss Senate Hair Care?
This is the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda where many networks set up their live shots with Senators and Congressman. You can see the microphones, cameras, and media equipment lining the top rim. Many interviews you see this weekend will be here.
Here I am in DC before going over to the Capitol. Scenic… right? By the way, it is sweltering here!
Finally, here’s a beautiful picture of the top of the Russell Senate Office Building. Although Republicans and Democrats are at each others’ throats at the moment; let us keep in mind that, despite how flawed the Democrats’ logic may be =) , we’re all Americans at the end of the day!