Some Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees have been very vocal about over the coming budget cuts for their agency. But maybe, they should just study their priorities. A report by the Washington Free Beacon reveals that EPA employees charge taxpayers with $15,000 for expensive gym memberships for its employees during former president Obama's time.
EPA's library in Las Vegas, Nevada bought 37 one-year memberships to 24 Hour Fitness last year. The " super sport" memberships cost $399.99 each. The total cost for the exclusive gym memberships of the EPA employees totaled $14,799.63. The agency made the gym membership purchases in April 2016.
The employees work at the U.S. Environmental Science Division located at 944 East Harmon Avenue in Las Vegas. The office houses the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory and a library on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( UNLV) campus which EPA scientists, post-doctorate researchers, and contractors use for research.
Membership to the costly 24 Hour Fitness boasts of yoga and martial arts classes. The gym also promises "good vibes" where EPA employees can "sweat it out together".
There is a catch, however, and one that can post questions on EPA employees' sense of good judgment in terms of spending hard-earned taxpayers' money. This is because there is already a gym right inside the UNLV campus. EPA is renting five buildings from the university.
The UNLV campus has a 184,000 square foot Student Recreation and Wellness Center that can be readily available to EPA employees for the much cheaper and more reasonable $25 per month.
And the campus gym is not bad itself. It includes a "state-of-the-art" relaxation room with massage chairs, fitness assessments, and personal trainers for hire, a registered dietician, and spa and leisure pool, indoor jogging and a gender neutral bathroom.
EPA employees have expressed their strong sentiments against President Trump's proposed budget, which would reduce EPA's annual funding to $5.7 billion. Employees even came to work crying after Trump's election victory last year. EPA employees who are members of a union even participated in so-called "resistance" rallies on Capitol Hill.
The EPA budget cut is part of wider cuts in many agencies as part of the Trump administration's efforts to raise funds for the huge increase in defense and military spending. President Trump defended his request for a $54 billion increase in defense budget to strengthen the U.S. military to better protect the security of the American people, and the country's interests in the world.