A Republican lawmaker has proposed legislation that would ban federal spending on yoga classes for federal workers.
The bill from Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., doesn't prohibit federal workers from doing yoga. But they would have to use their own money to rebalance their chakras if his proposal became law.
The bill is one of Salmon's several proposals to reduce wasteful federal spending. Salmon said free yoga classes aren't something taxpayers should pay for just because workers get those kinds of perks at high-tech companies.
"The government isn't Google, so stop trying to be," he said. "Startups across our country are offering unique benefits to their employees in exchange for working in a developing business with a new culture."
"But bureaucrats in Washington are already being paid by the taxpayer's hard work and such 'fringe benefits' are nothing more than a waste of dollars already taken away from American families," he added.
Salmon's bill is a reaction to a report that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., released last year. His "waste report" noted that the Departments of State, Energy and Agriculture, as well as the EPA, all provide yoga classes to their workers.
Paul's report said the State Department spends $15,000 a year on yoga classes in Washington, D.C., while the Department of Energy spent $11,000 a year for pilates classes in California.
Salmon said the Department of Energy and EPA alone spent more than $168,000 on yoga classes over the last five years. "Government, bending over backwards to waste your money," Paul's report said.
Salmon has introduced four other bills to cut wasteful spending. One bill would stop spending on low-income housing for 25,000 families who don't qualify for federal subsidies.
Another was aimed at cutting spending for research into why people get stressed when they talk about politics.
The two others would end paid administrative leave for federal workers accused of misconduct, and end funding for training at the State Department on how to testify before Congress.