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house Bill H.R. 5242

Are Yoga Classes a Waste of Taxpayer Money?

Argument in favor

Americans’ hard-earned taxes should not fund superfluous benefits for government employees like yoga. Federal workers should pay for their own health classes, like everybody else.

Caleb's Opinion
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05/22/2016
The reason for not voting to end paying for yoga classes is that there are bigger fish to fry? Cut unnecessary spending wherever it is. The government is using my money to pay for yoga classes. I can't afford yoga classes, but the government can with my money? That is blatantly irresponsible.
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pgshpak's Opinion
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05/22/2016
A drop in the barrel to be sure, but that's no reason to say, "yes, continue to waste our tax dollars."
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Oscar's Opinion
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05/22/2016
With the salary they're provided, they should be able to afford some classes if they really want them. It might not be a huge expense but it's an expense nonetheless.
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Argument opposed

There are significantly larger, more wasteful initiatives and loopholes that Congress would be better served to focus on and eliminate than the relatively small amount spent each year on yoga.

Nicholas's Opinion
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05/22/2016
Yoga provision is a preventative health measure, which likely reduces overall cost of healthcare provision. So if you want to continue saving money, you should be expanding these initiatives, not cutting them.
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Kevin's Opinion
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05/22/2016
Maybe a little yoga would loosen some of these numbskulls up a bit.
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Caitlin's Opinion
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05/22/2016
Maybe if Mitch McConnell did a few yoga classes and picked up some tips about mindfulness, he'd know that hearing out someone he doesn't agree with actually has value. Everyone needs yoga. This would be an entirely different conversation if the entire house/congress were taking yoga teacher training and having us pay for month long ashram retreats... Which they're not. Why not focus on de funding the 14 TRILLION dollar plane sitting on the Tarmac that has done NOTHING for our country?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedMay 13th, 2016

What is House Bill H.R. 5242?

Simple and straight to the point, this bill would prohibit federal agencies from using federal funds to offer free yoga classes to their employees.

The bill comes in response to a September 2015 report from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on government yoga spending, in which he suggested the government was: 
"bending over backwards to waste your money."

Impact

Federal employees who currently enjoy free yoga classes; government agencies; yoga instructors who teach classes at government agencies; taxpayers

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5242

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: According to a statement from sponsoring Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), the State Department and the Department of Energy together spent more than $168,000 on yoga and Pilates over the past 5 years.

Salmon added:

"The government isn’t Google, so stop trying to be."


This bill is part of Rep. Salmon’s larger Shrink Our Spending Initiative, which seeks to defund a variety of programs and initiatives, including Amtrak, a beach monitoring program, and a grant for researching rosebush-destroying mites.


Media:

Summary by Katie Rose Quandt
(Image Credit: Flickr user U.S. Naval Forces Central)

Official Title

To prohibit Executive agencies from using funds for yoga classes or instruction, and for other purposes.

    The reason for not voting to end paying for yoga classes is that there are bigger fish to fry? Cut unnecessary spending wherever it is. The government is using my money to pay for yoga classes. I can't afford yoga classes, but the government can with my money? That is blatantly irresponsible.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    Yoga provision is a preventative health measure, which likely reduces overall cost of healthcare provision. So if you want to continue saving money, you should be expanding these initiatives, not cutting them.
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    Maybe a little yoga would loosen some of these numbskulls up a bit.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    A drop in the barrel to be sure, but that's no reason to say, "yes, continue to waste our tax dollars."
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    With the salary they're provided, they should be able to afford some classes if they really want them. It might not be a huge expense but it's an expense nonetheless.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Maybe if Mitch McConnell did a few yoga classes and picked up some tips about mindfulness, he'd know that hearing out someone he doesn't agree with actually has value. Everyone needs yoga. This would be an entirely different conversation if the entire house/congress were taking yoga teacher training and having us pay for month long ashram retreats... Which they're not. Why not focus on de funding the 14 TRILLION dollar plane sitting on the Tarmac that has done NOTHING for our country?
    Like (10)
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    Share
    Of coarse this is a waste of Taxpayers Money. Yoga, while offering some health benefits should not be an employee benefit no mater what the cost. I have to save water because California is water wise and a gallon short. So drip...drip...drip goes the Taxpayer's money on that feel good field trip to Federal employee nirvana.
    Like (9)
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    Why should the taxpayers have to foot the bill for federal employees' yoga classes??? Will Uncle Sam let the rest of us deduct the cost of yoga classes when we file our tax returns??? Yoga is not a waste of time and money, but I never agreed to pay for our government employees' classes! Moreover, there's this "little" matter of our humongous national debt. You people in D.C. act like you think money grows on trees! Quit spending money like there's no tomorrow!!! Taxpayers work hard for a living, and the government takes a hefty chunk of our paychecks! Yet, you won't even balance your budget! What are you going to do, if most of us are reduced to poverty??? “What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?” Says the Lord GOD of hosts.” (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)
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    Superfluous benefits for already well-paid government officials, big and small, need to be cut back.
    Like (7)
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    What a monumental waste of time. Two departments are spending a little over $30,000 a year to raise the quality of life of their employees. Has anyone looked to see if this raises employees productivity? It may actually save the government money in the long run.
    Like (7)
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    Federal agencies should be allowed to determine what their benefits packages look like on their own as long as it is within reason.
    Like (6)
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    They can pay for their own yoga classes, the taxpayer doesn't need to foot the bill.
    Like (6)
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    I'm laughing but I'm also pissed off... I can't believe this is what we've come to... Our founding fathers would turn over in their graves I've they could see us now.
    Like (5)
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    An absolute waste of funds. As beneficial as yoga might be, it is unnecessary that our tax dollars be spent on something like this.
    Like (5)
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    Why is this even a question?
    Like (5)
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    If I can't get the government to pay for me to have you why should I pay taxes??
    Like (4)
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    Whoever passed this idea should be in jail
    Like (4)
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    Doesn't just help current government workers, also helps to attract and retain talent in a competitive market.
    Like (4)
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    Really people? What other hobbies do you want to subsidize through your tax dollars?
    Like (4)
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    Hard to say why this is even an issue. We are $17 trillion in debt and having trouble finding things to cut. Extracurriculars should be paid by those who attend
    Like (3)
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