Senate staffers offered classes on forgiveness, relaxation, sleep

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Congressional staffers in need of a lesson on how to forgive, sleep, relax and other lifestyle issues are in luck. The government is offering lessons to teach them just that.

“Come learn the art of forgiveness. Learn how to ‘let go’ and move on!” reads an announcement for an hour-long June 10 forgiveness event that was sent to Senate staffers and obtained by The Daily Caller.

The forgiveness session, presented by the Senate Employee Assistance Program, promises to teach the “Definitions of grudge and forgiveness; Consequences of holding a grudge; Practical steps to forgiving and moving on.” It will be offered as a webinar.

“Why should taxpayers pay for Senate staffers to use an hour of their workday to learn about forgiveness?” Aaron Fobes, spokesman for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, reacted to the event Thursday in an email to The Daily Caller.

Tuesday, Coburn called on House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to look at what he believes to be millions of dollars in wasteful spending at the Capitol, including printing costs, expensive perks provided to former House Speakers, costs for the money-losing Senate barber shop and gift shops, staff transportation, and other kinds of classes for Senate staffers on lifestyle issues.

In a letter to Boehner, Reid, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer and the House Chief Administrative Officer, Coburn pointed out that the Senate and House have sponsored training programs, like the forgiveness class, that “frequently have little to do with legislation” for Congressional staff such as:

  • “A class to help staffers socially titled “Small Talk: Breaking the Ice in Social Situations”; and

  • A lifestyle class designed to help staffers titled “Lighten Up! Spring Cleaning for your Body and Your Life,” where staffers can learn about healthy eating and recipes to be “balanced, calm and focused and several practices that will support you in releasing the old and inviting in the new.

“Since Sequestration was implemented,” Coburn noted further, “both the House and Senate have continued to hold classes for staffers that have little if anything to do with legislating such as:

  • From Stress to Relaxation to help staffers with “exhaustion and lack of clarity” (Senate)

  • Your Credit Score – Friend or Foe (House)

  • Choose Your Attitude: Attitude is Everything (Senate)

  • What’s My Communication Style? (Senate)

  • Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep (Senate) 

The “forgiveness” program is the second in a webinar series EAP is providing through LifeCare, a self-described “leader in the Employee Productivity & Loyalty industry,” the first was the program on better sleep, a Senate EAP staffer told TheDC.

The staffer added that EAP contracts with LifeCare for their services.

When pressed for additional information about the program, the staffer declined to comment further, instead referring The Daily Caller to the EAP director, who referred TheDC to the program’s press office, which did not respond to request for comment.

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