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February 13, 2016

Mark Sanford’s New Business Casual: Shorts on the House Floor

Somebody obviously didn’t tell Rep. Mark Sanford the House moved up the Wednesday evening vote series an hour earlier than anticipated. Otherwise, he might have changed clothing first — or taken a shower, at least.

The South Carolina Republican came into the Speaker’s Lobby sporting a sweat-soaked T-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers.

Asked by HOH if he had thought he had adequate time for an exercise run before having to report to the chamber to vote on amendments to the Defense Department appropriations bill, Sanford deadpanned, “I think that’s a fair assessment.”

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

For the most part, he stayed sheepishly in one corner of the long hallway, hovering near one of the chamber doorways to monitor when he needed to run out onto the floor and cast his votes and trying to ignore giggling reporters.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is a stickler for proper attire, and has been known to admonish male lawmakers from the dais for not wearing required jackets and ties. Sanford donned a blazer supplied by an aide when he had to go into the chamber, but took it off when he was in the Speaker’s Lobby, perhaps wanting to avoid taking it into the dry cleaner’s.

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., asked Sanford if he needed to borrow a tie. “I might,” Sanford replied.
Other colleagues were less helpful.
“Nooooo wayyyyyyy,” freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., drawled.  “Noooo wayyyyy. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve only been here six months.”
He then suggested Sanford pull down his shorts a little bit so they looked like pants. Sanford declined.

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  • MattyK

    Wasn’t Rep. Bobby Rush kicked off the house floor last year for wearing a hoodie while speaking about the Martin/Zimmerman case?

    • Byproxy73

      And Barney Frank was chastised for wearing a T-shirt. Double standards are alive and well in Congress.

      • jpeters3270

        So chastise him…..move on.

    • JMH21

      Rush was at the podium, put the hoodie on while speaking, and that was making a political statement, not getting caught in exercise clothing. Comparing apples to oranges and I think you know that.

      • Iampam

        Double standards. Same nonsense happen to Obama for not wearing a tie in the Oval Office where as St. Ronnie was pictured without one too.

        • Steve Ahle

          You guys are going to cry about this? REALLY? Oh man….Desperation is a steep hill.

  • JMH21

    Years ago in the Senate Bennett Johnston used to play tennis on the court atop the Hart Building. He would come running to the floor, slip a jacket on over his tennis apparel, peak his head in and vote. Anyone getting upset about his kind of stuff needs to get a life.

    • WitsEnd66

      Sure, why complain. i’m sure they don’t have time for this stuff working only 3 days a week, 2 weeks out of the month for $174,500 a year with cadillac retirement and health benefits. You are the one who gets to get a life and Sanford needs to get is priorities straight.

      • JMH21

        My only comment is to laugh. First, their retirement is under FERS so it is not a cadillac that you refer to, second, most members of Congress can earn much more than what they are paid and any corporate job with the same level of responsibility would be double at least, and third, if you think they are not working when they are back in the district you should take a look at any member’s district schedule.

        • Vince Fl

          FAIL… trying to get anyone to feel sorry for the hard life of a Congressman, especially a GOP one who works overtime to screw over the middle class

          • JMH21

            My first comment was that getting caught in exercise clothes is not a big deal, no matter what party. My second was that he seemed to have no idea what is involved in a member of Congress’ life. And to you, I think it is Democrats who screw the middle class by running up mountainous debt that will end up being paid by the middle class. I was not partisan in this discussion until you turned it that way and you demonstrated a real lack of understanding of how financial matters actually work.

            I hear so many liberals refer to the Bush tax cuts as tax cuts for the wealthy. First, they were passed on a bipartisan vote and second, they were an across the board tax cut of 10% for everyone. Those paying the most in raw dollars still paid the most. Those paying the least still paid the least and many more actually paid nothing with the cut.

          • MsInformed

            You need to research that “mountainous debt” that you think Dems ran up. Numbers over the years do not support that.
            Your tax cut rationale is faulty too. Raw numbers don’t tell the whole truth.

          • JMH21

            More than happy to discuss debt. The national debt has increased significantly under the Obama administration. In 8 years of Bush the debt increased about $5T but under the first 4 years of Obama it increased over $6T. The projections are that it will increase by a total of $10T for his 8 years. That is twice the rate of the Bush presidency. I suspect you will find some way to rationalize those numbers but they are what they are.

            The tax cut was a 10% across the board cut and was passed with bipartisan support. Those who were paying the most got a larger dollar cut but they were still paying more dollars than anyone else. In simple math if you are paying $100,000 in federal income tax and get a 10% cut you will get a $10,000 cut but you are still paying $90,000. If you are paying $5,000 you get a $500 cut but you are still only paying $4,500.

            Tax rates are also misunderstood. When Romney’s tax return was made public it showed he paid an effective rate of 14%. Many people said they were middle class and paid a higher rate. That is because they confused marginal rates with effective rates. The only true rate is effective and the average middle class, earning between $70-110,000, paid and effective rate of 7.4%. Romney paid the 14% because his was all investment income. This year President Obama released his tax return and it showed he paid an effective rate of 18% only because he had $400K in earned income. You cannot escape higher rates on earned income because of the AMT. But those same people that criticized Romney for paying his rate did not seem to get upset with Obama’s rate and did not claim they paid a higher rate than him. That is because they didn’t

            I suspect you want to get into some liberal argument that the “rich” should pay more and my point is they do. We have a progressive tax system that has always increased the rate of tax on taxable income as you earn more.

        • WitsEnd66

          I can only judge based on my rep who is a committee chairman and he has exactly one, one-hour town hall meeting every 3 months and if you call his office, you never get to talk to him because he isn’t there so you deal with his home office staffer.  Funny, but when they worked 4 days a week 4 weeks out of the month, they had the same home schedule.  Most of them don’t even do town halls anymore since the summer of 2009 because they don’t want the grief they get.  I think the pensions they get are extremely generous after serving minimum 6 years in the House or the Senate.  My complaint is that they are getting the same salary they got when they worked a full week and still had constituent responsibilities at home which are still being taken care of by a staffer.  They are working half the time they were before at the same pay.  Nice work if you can get it.  They have passed exactly 19 pieces of legislation in the last 2 years whereas the 2009 to 2011 Congress pass 48.  They have taken more votes to repeal healthcare (39) in the House than bills they have passed.  Totally unproductive.

          • JMH21

            I cannot speak for your member of Congress since I don’t know who it is. But every member I speak to, both Republican and Democrat, make it clear that their district schedule is filled more than their Washington schedule. I am seeing votes on Monday night and Thursdays and that means four days in DC. On the town halls, it appears the Dems are shying away from them but even most of them are still holding them to my knowledge.

            On pensions, they are under FERS. They vest in 6 years, just like any federal or private worker (if the company has a defined benefit pension program, most don’t anymore) according to ERISA. But they don’t receive the pension until they reach retirement age.

            As far as bills passed, the House is passing bills that the Senate won’t pass and the Senate is passing bills the House won’t pass. So who is at fault? Sounds like both sides are unwilling to compromise.

            On the healthcare repeal votes I admit they are political theater but you have to remember that this was major legislation passed in a lame duck without a single Republican vote. Personally I would outlaw lame ducks. They only create mischief when members who have been defeated come back and vote. They are from an age when members could not get to DC quickly so there was time between the election and the start of Congress. (I have seen that mischief on both sides)

      • jpeters3270

        This is such a ridiculous comment. Its like saying a lawyer is not working when he’s not in court. Most of them work long hours and voting is the only time they are in the chamber.

  • doitlive

    did Radel just come out?…if not, that’s probably how it starts with the gay agenda, always looking to take advantage

    • WSClark

      Terminal case of homophobia, Doit?

      • doitlive

        bad parody ws, relax

  • BigBuck

    No respect for the institution nor for his constituents. Of course, the latter don’t deserve any respect, since they elected this fool.

  • Vince Fl

    Man can’t keep his pants on IN Congress either….

  • JMH21

    Timothy, they don’t know when the votes are going to be called. Votes can be called at any time in the day.

  • Boehner Golfs More Than Obama

    Does Sanford do any work? Was he the only one in the gym?

    This is what the people of SC-01 got when they elected him. A lazy, good for nothing person who spends his time in the House gym at taxpayer’s expense to represent them.

    • jpeters3270

      Sanford is doing just fine! He’s voting exactly the way we in the first district want him to. He is in constant contact with us, and actually returns phone calls. And he likes to work out. Why does that bother you? If only they had a rule about not coming to the chamber drunk, Boehner wouldn’t be there.

  • Don

    Disrespectful and childish meatball…that’s all he is.

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