Dozens of excited, newly-elected public officials descended on Capitol Hill last Wednesday to select their office assignments for the upcoming 114th session of the United States Congress, as part of the federal government’s “in-house draw” process. Many arrived early to talk with departing incumbents about which offices they recommended, based on their time in Washington.
“I think it’s really nice to get the perspective of current occupants about the little things like natural lighting or ventilation during the spring,” John Katko (R-New York) explained. “I got some great input from John Barrow (D-Georgia) and Vance McAllister (R-Louisiana) as they packed up their offices about which side of the Capitol building had the better views and which side is quieter at night.”
Congressmen often make their selections based on a variety of factors, including proximity to the bathroom and desired level of social interaction.
“I heard a rumor that the South Wing of the Capitol can get really distracting, since they start partying as early as Wednesday some weeks,” Mike Bost (R-Illinois) told reporters. “I’m trying to get a lot of legislation passed this term, so I don’t want to deal with loud music and the smell of pot coming into my room every night.”
Regardless of which offices they ultimately select, most Congressmen admit that the accommodations are significantly better than at the local government level.
“Just having a single office to myself is a dream come true,” a former state legislator elected to Congress admitted. “Back in the State House, we had one-room double offices, and I was sick of getting sexiled every time my fellow state senator wanted to sleep with a lobbyist or secretary.”
Representatives from the state of Oregon have also expressed relief that they no longer have to make office assignments by consensus, and then still switch offices every fiscal quarter.