House cracks down on parking delinquents among members and staff

The House Administration Committee added new penalties for members and staff notorious for flouting the rules

Members and staff face tougher penalties under new parking rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Parking scofflaws, beware. The House Administration Committee toughened parking rules Thursday with new penalties for members and staff notorious for flouting the rules.

The exclusive member license plates or congressional parking passes can’t protect you now.

The committee toughened parking rules by including a provision that says members and staff who are “habitual Parking Policy violators will be towed and potentially banned from parking on the House Campus permanently.”

Parking is important on Capitol Hill. Despite the tunnels connecting office buildings and plentiful green space, having a car on-hand is key for shuttling lawmakers to fundraisers across town and rushing them from final votes to the airport.

House parking is more precious than ever, with major a construction project underway in the Rayburn garage.

Years of leaking water and melting snow, mixed with road salts, have caused significant corrosion to the Rayburn House Office Building garage’s structural concrete, according to the Architect of the Capitol’s office.

Massive chunks of concrete were falling, and some areas deteriorated to a point where stopgap measures were abandoned and a whole rehabilitation began. The four-phase project is set to be complete in 2022.

There are also new penalties for gasoline-powered cars parking in spots designated for electric car parking and charging.

The new rules include a crackdown on shared employees circumventing parking penalties. Under the new policy, shared employees with suspended parking privileges will not be allowed to obtain a parking permit from another office that employs them.

Former members will keep their parking privileges in the 116th Congress, as they have in the past. Lawmakers, whether retired or voted out, have access to House and Senate parking lots.

“Some [privileges] are derived from law and chamber rules, but others are courtesies that have been extended as a matter of custom,” according to a Congressional Research Service report on privileges and courtesies for former members.

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