Senate offers new weight loss program for fat staffers

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Senate staffers have a lot on their plates, apparently — including hammering out details on a gigantic spending bill and fighting over whether to extend unemployment benefits.

But the Senate Office of Education and Training has another priority: getting Senate staffers to sign up for a government-sponsored “Weight Watchers 12-week at work program” to help shed some pounds while at work at the Capitol.

“This is more than just a diet; it is a complete program, including behavioral change, guidance, support, and activity,” reads an email sent to staffers from the Senate Office of Education and Training on Monday.

According to its Twitter account, the Senate Office of Education and Training provides “training, information, and publications to enhance the professional development of Senate staff.”

The Senate-sponsored weight loss class is set to start Jan. 23 and last through April 10. Staffers who sign up will take the class during the work day — on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. — in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Staffers have to pony up some cash to participate: it costs $156.00 a person to participate in the 12-week program.

The personal health care of lawmakers and their staff has been in the news recently, with Republicans decrying what they call a special exemption for the congressional employees in Obamacare.

The Office of Personnel Management is allowing special subsidies to help cover the new costs of health insurance for members of Congress under the Affordable Care Act — something some lawmakers have argued is unfair because the rest of America doesn’t get a cut on the expenses to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.

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