Another reason to hate members of Congress

There was a report in the newspaper The Hill about congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) chewing out and then throwing out of an elevator a staffer because the elevator was for use of members of congress only.

Foxx said to the staffer, “This is a ‘members-only’ elevator; can you read?” She then demanded the staffer’s name before the elevator stopped after going just one more floor up. “Get out here,” Foxx supposedly commanded.

Before our insider and the berated staffer exited, the politician exclaimed, “What does this sign say? It says, ‘Members of Congress only.’ ”

But that wasn’t it. The innocent staffer attempted to point out that the sign next to it stated, “during votes,” which is when, our tipster says, Foxx started yelling, “Members only!” as she pointed to signs.

Apart from the sheer tackiness of Foxx’s behavior, what irks me is that there is an elevator actually reserved solely for members of congress. What possible justification is there for this? After all, these are supposedly ‘public servants’, i.e., servants of the people, and yet they think they are so important that they reserve for themselves such petty privileges.


  1. says

    Apart from the sheer tackiness of Foxx’s behavior, what irks me is that there is an elevator actually reserved solely for members of congress. What possible justification is there for this?

    The elevator was “Members Only During Votes” – likely to get them to where they need to go quickly without having to wait for multiple floors.

  2. Mano Singham says

    That hardly seems to be a worthwhile reason. How much longer would it take for an elevator if other people were allowed to use it? And surely members of congress should be able to judge how long it takes to get to the floor in order to vote?

    These kinds of things just feed the self-importance of people who think that their time is more valuable than everyone else’s.

  3. Jared A says

    Apparently some elevators are members only all of the time. From the linked article:

    ‘House Administration Committee Deputy Staff Director Salley Wood tells us both Foxx and the anonymous staffer are right … sort of.

    “There are elevators that are designated for ‘members only’ during vote series as well as elevators that are designated for ‘members only’ at all times,” says Wood.’

    Maybe they are for not delaying votes, but probably their primary purpose is to boost egos.

  4. says

    Votes are time-dependent. So, it stands to reason that if you’re calling for members to come the floor and vote, you should allow for a process that helps expedite that.

    I don’t have a problem with Congressperson-only elevators if it helps them do their jobs better. There’s also the security aspect. So, I’m totally cool with their being separate facilities. While it’s a major tourist attraction, it’s also their workplace. Gotta let them get some work done.

    However…seems to me that Rep Foxx is just a wee bit over-filled with her own sense of self-importance. And that reading comprehension should be a requisite for members of Congress. Sadly, doesn’t appear to be the case.

  5. mnb0 says

    “What possible justification …”
    “just feed the self-importance”
    There you are. Making the link with your other article on the president’s authoritarianism isn’t hard anymore: bribing those who are supposed to keep you in control.

  6. TGAP Dad says

    Wikipedia and Google can be so illuminating. One of 2(!) representatives to vote AGAINST Katrina relief, has “no respect” for students who use student loans to pay for school (she relates her story of 7 years of working and paying for school which, in my local state university, would get you suspended for “lack of satisfactory progress”), said it was a “hoax” to call Matthew Shepard’s murder a hate crime – in front of Matt’s mother are just a few of her greatest hits. And she won reelection in North Carolina by 18 points. Just how bad do you have to be to be turned back by NC voters?

  7. nakarti says

    It depends how busy the building is during voting sessions, but it is reasonable to give them priority during votes.
    Clearly it should be reworded with “During Votes” on top and in much larger lettering.

  8. Lofty says

    The swollen egos of those who think they are better thaan the people that voted them in. Gotcha.

  9. Ollie Nanyes says

    Groan. A member of Congress who is not only a jerk but doesn’t understand elementary logic….

  10. bluentx says

    Google is not always your friend. This is not Rep. Foxx’s first vile-lation of someones dignity.Googling Virginia Foxx brought back a news item I tried to forget…
    In 2009 she called Matthew Sheppard’s death — a hoax!
    Yet another variation of the Foxx Effect?

  11. maxdwolf says

    I was a bike messenger in DC a number of years back and visited the House office buildings several times. Those are very large office buildings. Given the rush during a vote, limiting it to members seems a very sensible policy.

  12. Mano Singham says

    I’m curious. How many floors are there in those buildings? There can’t be many given the height restrictions in DC and the high ceilings.

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