The C Street evangelical dorm

By David Waters The most famous Christian boarding house in America, Washington’s C Street Center, is back in the news. … Continued

By David Waters

The most famous Christian boarding house in America, Washington’s C Street Center, is back in the news. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints with the Senate and House ethics committees against members of Congress who reside (or have lived) in the Washington rowhouse.

The complaints claim that eight members of congress (three Democrats, five Republicans) paid way-below-market rent at the C Street house, violating rules about congressional gifts. According to CREW, the congressmen pay about $950 a month for housing and housekeeping in an area of the Capitol where comparable rents range from $1,700 to $4,000 a month.

“At a time when so many Americans are losing their housing it is surprising to discover that some members of Congress are lucky enough to have a landlord that charges below market rent for fairly luxurious accommodations – and offers housekeeping and meal service to boot,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.

In my father’s house are many rent-free rooms, Jesus told his disciples.

CREW is the most recent group to complain about the C Street accommodations for evangelical lawmakers. Last month, a group of 13 clergy asked the IRS to investigate, claiming that the center is “an exclusive residential club for powerful officials may be masquerading as a church.”

One of C Street’s residents, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), told reporters that he pays $600 a month to stay in a “spartan eight-by-10 foot single room that has no closet or bathroom.”

Sounds more like a college dorm than a church, which might explain some of the reported extra-curricular activities at C Street.

It’s a witch hunt,” John Hart, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a C Street boarder, told “Anyone who spends 10 minutes on Craigslist will realize they’re getting a fair market deal.”

He’s right. I found a number of rooms to rent near Capitol Hill, all under $950 a month, including a “charming room in an upper floor Capitol Hill rowhouse. Only $670 a month for a 14×16-foot room with TWO closets and a window!

No mention of whether the room is subsidized by taxpayers.

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  • PatC1

    “A witch hunt,” huh? Read “The Family,” by Jeff Sharlet. These power brokers get away with far too much, all in the name of “Jesus.”

  • edismae

    These Congressmen are living in a facility owned by what is, for all intents and purposes, an unregistered lobbying company. They ought to be investigated for that.