The U.S. House of Representatives will soon offer staffers in Washington D.C. and in district offices free Peloton memberships at taxpayer expense, according to a report.
Fox Business reported Friday that a draft email from the office of the chief administrative officer says that the new "premier employee benefit" will be made available to all Capitol Police officers, as well as congressional staffers, who each will get both Peloton All-Access and a Peloton App membership for free.
The government reportedly has a contract with the company — known for its stationary exercise bikes and online fitness class subscriptions — to offer the free membership benefits to an estimated 10,000 House staffers and 2,300 Capitol Police officers.
According to Fox Business, the contract requires a $10,000 upfront payment to Peloton, as well as an additional $10 per month charge for each staffer or officer who uses their membership. Those rates are slightly discounted from what other Americans pay; a Peloton All-Access Membership costs $39 per month and a Peloton App Membership costs $12.99 per month. If everyone eligible for the benefit takes advantage of it, it could cost taxpayers as much as $120,000 per month, $1.4 million annually, and $14.4 million over the next ten years.
The draft email from the office of the CAO reportedly told staffers and officers they would "have access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, across multiple disciplines, that are available for streaming across multiple devices and require no purchase of Peloton equipment."
Peloton confirmed that it has a contract with the House in a statement to Fox Business.
The report comes one week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) raised the minimum salary for House staffers to $45,000. Previously, there was no salary floor for congressional staff, and some staffers were paid as low as $30,000 while being required to live in one of the most expensive cities in America. The House on Tuesday also voted to recognize the right of its staffers to unionize in a party-line vote of 217-202, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.
A recent report by Issue One, a campaign finance reform group that describes itself as "crosspartisan," found that one in eight congressional staff members are not paid a minimum subsistence wage to meet the basic needs of living in D.C. Congressional staff often work long hours as well and make far less money than those who hold similar jobs in the private sector.
But at least now they have taxpayer-funded exercise bike memberships.