Skip to content

New Title, but No New Digs for Ryan

Ryan is the new speaker of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Ryan is the new speaker of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:53 a.m. | Newly elected Speaker Paul D. Ryan won’t be getting a new home in the District of Columbia, but he is looking into some new carpet for the speaker’s office.  

The Wisconsin Republican made the rounds to all five of the Sunday morning political talk shows and informed both CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he plans to continue sleeping in his office. “Look, I just work here,” Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd about his sleeping arrangements.  

Ryan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” he’ll be sleeping in his Longworth Building personal office. Todd on NBC asked if the Capitol Police would be all right with Ryan sleeping in the speaker’s office in the Capitol, but Ryan did not directly respond.  

“I start my day at 6 in the morning,” Ryan said. “I end at about 11:30 at night. It’s just become a really efficient way for me to do the people’s business by just staying right here.”  

Ryan is one of several members of the unofficial “Congressional Couch Caucus” who sleep in their offices. While Ryan cites efficiency for crashing in his office, other members do so to combat the high cost of living in D.C. One Democrat used this as an argument to raise member pay in May .  

Money might not be a consideration for Ryan, who is the 89th wealthiest member of Congress with a minimum net worth of $2.99 million, according to Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress Index . As speaker, his salary also jumped nearly $50,000 a year from that of a rank-and-file member, to $223,500.  

Ryan said he will have to get some new carpeting for the speaker’s Capitol office to get rid of a lingering smell left over from its previous occupant, former speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, who smokes. How the stench is removed sounds complicated.  

“We’ve been talking about that, they have these ozone machines, apparently, that you can [use to] detoxify the environment,” Ryan said on NBC. “But I’m going to have to work on the carpeting in here. You know when you ever go to a hotel room or get a rental car that has been smoked in? That’s what this smells like.”  

And despite his new role, he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he plans to continue working out every morning in the House gym. He also intends to keep up with his favorite outdoor hobbies.  

“I’m keep going to keep mountain climbing, I’m going to keep camping, I’m going to keep hunting. I told the security detail that human scent is not good for bow hunting,” Ryan said on CBS.  

“So, I won’t go into the details, but I have to keep life normal, I have to keep life real, and I think they understand that,” he said.  

While Ryan might not be taking his new title as an opportunity to get a place in D.C., he said he won’t have to use his prominent position for other perks either. NBC’s Todd asked Ryan if he would use his “newfound popularity” to score some good seats at Green Bay Packers games.  

“No, I just find tickets however I can,” Ryan said. “I have a next-door neighbor who got transferred to another job, who is in I think the third generation of ownership and he, in our neighborhood, sells his tickets on a weekly basis.”  

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.
Members Living in Their Offices Rent-Free Adds Up

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Recent Stories

Lawmakers press to avoid funding pitfall for public defenders

Supreme Court sounds skeptical of cross-state air pollution rule

Another year, another disaster aid gap as funding deadline nears

Tall order for lawmakers to finish spending bills next week

Capitol Ink | It’s gotta be the shoes

Truck rule is first test drive of federal autonomous vehicle oversight