Senate Votes To Privatize Its Failing Restaurants
Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate’s network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money – more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another.
The financial condition of the world’s most exclusive dining hall and its affiliated Capitol Hill restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops has become so dire that, without a $250,000 subsidy from taxpayers, the Senate won’t make payroll next month.
The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit’s new hires.
The House is expected to agree – its food service operation has been in private hands since the 1980s – and President Bush’s signature on the bill would officially end a seven-month Democratic feud and more than four decades of taxpayer bailouts.
This is just too funny. Odd that the House (Democratic at the time) saw the light ages ago.