Off the Record

Greta: Why is Congress' gym still open during 'slimdown'

'Off the Record', 10/8/13: Greta wonders why the Congressional gym remains open during the partial suspension of government services while veterans can't visit war memorials


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record." I want to know what you think. Here's what I think. We know the World War II monument was closed this week, even trying to deter the heroes it is meant to honor. Now that was done by the Obama administration; excuse: the shutdown. Now go to the flip side of the coin. Guess what was not shut down - the gym in the House of Representatives. Essential? I don't know. I don't think so. It sure won't protect the nation from terrorists.

The House gym for the use by members of Congress only has a pool, basketball court, a saw in a sauna and more. The report is that the House gym remains open at the specific direction of Speaker Boehner's office. Note, the report is his office. Not the Speaker himself directed it to remain open. It's likely a staffer, maybe not the Speaker himself, who did just as it was not the speaker himself that did.

I don't believe President Obama directly ordered the World War II Monument to be closed. I think it was someone lower in his administration. But while I don't see either leader's fingerprints on these initial very tasteless decisions, they are accountable now. Now they know. The monument is closed. The gym is open.

And both men can and should do something about it now. President Obama has the authority to open the monument and Speaker Boehner has the authority to close the gym. Whether either does exercise his authority to do the right thing now speaks very loudly. So who is your money on? Go to and tell me what you think. Also tell me if there is anything you think I should talk about "Off the Record" and that's tonight's "Off the Record."