Issues

Barber: Why Would DHS Pay $200,000 a Year for Gym Memberships for Desk Job Workers?

The Washington Free Beacon‘s Ellison Barber appeared on Fox News Thursday to discuss a recent article outlining how the Department of Homeland Security has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on gym memberships for employees at two agencies.

The Free Beacon‘s Elizabeth Harrington reported:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is spending more than $450,000 on gym memberships for TSA agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees who work desk jobs at a procurement office in Washington, D.C.

Last month, DHS bought gym memberships for ICE workers in its Office of Acquisition to boost their morale and "improve working conditions."

"As part of the agency-wide Health and Wellness program, sponsored by Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has a requirement to provide ICE employees in Tech World Office at 801 I Street, NW Washington, DC, 20536 with access/membership to a fully comprehensive state-of-the-art health club facility," the June solicitation said.

The agency announced July 7 that it had purchased 236 gym memberships to Vida Fitness, a high-end outlet described as "more than just a gym." As Your World host Neil Cavuto pointed out, it's not a good public relations week for the government with new revelations about federal employees admitting they watch porn at work out of boredom.

"It's not great," Barber said. "Fitness is important, but this particular gym seems a little bit excessive. It seems a bit over the top, particularly when it is employees that have desk jobs. If they're working on buying guns and ammo for people in the field, why do they need to be spending $200,000 a year on gym memberships?"