GOP Lawmakers Disapprove of Deal to Offer Peloton App, Other Perks to House Staff: 'Out of Touch'

The House Center for Well-Being reportedly has an offer to provide Peloton app memberships — but not stationary bikes or other equipment — to Capitol and district staff and police

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, isn't happy about a deal that would have offered staffers a membership for an app that provides access to thousands of streaming exercise classes.

The House Center for Well-Being hoped to provide Peloton All-Access and Peloton App memberships to Capitol and district staff as well as Capitol Police officers, according to a draft memo obtained by The Hill.

The perk would allow users to view online fitness instruction but does not include Peloton's stationary bikes, treadmills or other exercise equipment needed to participate in some of the many on-demand classes offered by the service.

"You may be asking, 'What's Peloton?' It's a bike that costs about $2,000. Not only that, each month you pay a monthly subscription fee to ride your $2,000 bike. And best of all, it's stationary and they charge you about $300 to set it up," McCarthy said in a speech on the House floor Wednesday. "So it's $2,000 bike that you pay to use and pay to set up that doesn't go anywhere."

McCarthy continued, saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "decided to give everyone in Congress a Peloton gym membership" and claimed she "did it without any debate or discussion with any Republicans."

The Peloton deal is reportedly overseen by the House's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), a position nominated by the Speaker, elected by the House and subject to oversight by the House Administration Committee, according to The Hill.

A rep for Pelosi tells PEOPLE, "There is no involvement by the Speaker in this matter."

"The CAO and Peloton entered into a purchase agreement to provide all House staff with a digital Peloton subscription. Upon being briefed of the proposed program, Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren instructed the CAO to not proceed with the agreement," her spokesman Drew Hammill said. "Therefore, no taxpayer funds have been or will be spent on this rejected proposal."

Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy
Win McNamee/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

A separate request from PEOPLE to the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer was not returned.

The Peloton contract would cost $10,000 paid upfront to Peloton, plus an additional $10 charge per month for each staffer that takes advantage of the employee benefit, Fox Business reports. The cost would reportedly be paid for by taxpayers and could add up to $120,000 a month if 12,000 staffers and officers choose to use take advantage of the offer.

The average cost of the Peloton All-Access Membership is $39 per month, and a Peloton App Membership costs $12.99 per month, HuffPost reports.

Bike_RGB
The Peloton bike. Peloton

The memo outlining the offer to House staff and police had been delayed, according to The Hill, which also reported other benefits on offer from the House Well-Being Center, including offers to download the Calm sleep app, FinFit app used for financial planning and the Foodsmart app, which gives personalized nutrition advice to users.

Another offering would provide same-day alcohol and beverage orders and delivery through the House's food services vendor, The Hill also reported.

Other Republicans joined McCarthy in expressing disapproval for the proposed employee perks and blamed Pelosi despite her apparent lack of involvement in the details of the deal.

"Speaker Pelosi is incredibly out of touch with the American people. Instead of getting inflation under control by cutting government spending, the House will spend $100,000 a month on Peloton memberships," Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan tweeted. "Putting the political elite over the American people once again."

Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia accused Pelosi of "opening a liquor store in the House where Members can buy alcohol with their taxpayer-funded MRAs ... All while Americans are struggling to pay for food."

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