Braley Laments Lack Of Towels At House Gym: ‘We’re Doing Our Own Laundry’ (VIDEO)

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As the government shutdown enters its second week, many federal employees who are still on the job are feeling the pinch, including Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA).

The Iowa senate candidate, who is currently the front-runner to replace Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in 2014, lamented the conditions in the House gym on the Bill Press radio show Wednesday. Members-only congressional gyms are being kept open by direction of House Speaker John Boehner, with basic services provided by essential employees. Two Democrats, Reps. Bill Foster (IL) and Patrick Murphy (FL), circulated a letter Tuesday calling for their closure. 

“They must not have been down to the gym lately,” Braley said, referring to the letter. “There’s hardly anybody working down there. There’s no towel service, we’re doing our own laundry down there. And we pay a fee to belong to the House gym. So this is no different than if you’re working for an employer that offers a wellness program. You pay a fee to belong, that’s what we do there.”

Republicans pointed to the comments as evidence that Braley was out-of-step with thousands of employees who remained on furlough.

“Poor Bruce Braley. It’s tough to be him,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee. “Good Lord. No wonder he’s having trouble relating to Iowans.”

Watch video of Braley’s comments below at the 2:00 mark:

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