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Could government shutdown leave Chaffetz shower-less?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Should the federal government shut down Saturday, the ramifications could become incredibly personal to Rep. Jason Chaffetz. And everyone around him, for that matter.

Chaffetz is among a handful of House members who sleep in their congressional offices, and if a budget impasse continues, those representatives might find themselves without a place to shower.

A House Administration committee spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that the House gym, where the office crashers go to wash up, would shutter during a government shutdown. It's a small inconvenience compared to the tribulations a closed-up government would mean to Americans, especially federal workers who might find themselves furloughed.

"There are a lot more important things than where I shower," Chaffetz said Thursday.

But it's one of many consequences of a government shutdown that could turn into a hassle should Congress continue to be unable to pass a spending plan.

Chaffetz made a big splash in 2008 when he arrived in Washington literally carrying a cot he could fold out in a hallway of his office instead of paying to rent an apartment near the Capitol.

He is the only one in Utah's federal delegation to sleep in his office.

On Thursday, Chaffetz said he still wasn't sure what he would do yet if the House gym is unavailable and he hoped he didn't need to figure it out.

"I'm obviously motivated to make sure the government doesn't shut down," Chaffetz said, adding, "Those around me don't want it to shut down either."

tburr@sltrib.com

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