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D.C. Is Just As Drunk As You Think It Is

Hill bartenders say that members of Congress were sitting around getting their buzz on before they decided to go shut the government down.

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A bartender named Dominic told us members of Congress were getting "their buzz on" before voting to shut down the government.

"On the night of the actual shutdown when they were going in and doing the voting, there was at least 3 or 4 tables of members sitting around getting their buzz on before they decided to go shut the government down. It was a little disconcerting to see these guys on their 3rd merlot before they go in."

Bartender Scott Haller tells us that staffers are "pissed off."

"There are bigger crowds and people staying later. I think it’s the novelty of it and we’re all in this shared misery together. There are emotions that are being subdued, but get them drunk enough, put them in the right situation, and you’ll see them come out. Groups are coming in and they’re like, pissed off."


And staffers are ordering less because they just can't afford it.

"People are getting less, they’re ordering less...they still wanna come out but they’re like 'eh, I can’t afford it.'"

Bartender Dibri says staffers are coming like it's "vacation."

"Everyone is getting ripped up and blowing all their money. We had a bunch of people in the corner yesterday with signs that said, 'Federal Government Laid Us Off,' and they were doing carbombs."

Drunk staffers have been such a problem that they have had to bring in extra security just to manage them.

"They are getting rowdy. I have to cut them off regularly because they don't have work in the morning. It is like Friday night for them. Where I’d have less security on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, I have to have bring in more security."


He says staffers are drinking longer and getting "blasted."

"They are staying much longer and drinking more. They get blasted because, hey, they don't have work in the morning."

He says one group of staffers came in after signing their furlough papers on Tuesday and drank for 12 hours.

"[A group of Hill staffers] came in at like 12:30 p.m, got some buckets. Eventually I was like alright guys last call. They drank the entire work day...for them it was like a Friday."

But Charlie is worried about his own paycheck if the shutdown continues.

"If this continues I’m going to lose all my money. I’m not furloughed. No one is gonna have money to give me, so I’m the one that really loses out. They all get paid retroactively."

Brad, the bar owner, says furloughed workers have been asking him for "two week" jobs.

"I have probably gotten about 25 or 30 emails in the last three days saying, 'Hey Brad, you met me one time. I just got furloughed,' and then they would ask me if I had any two week jobs."

Contact Benny Johnson at

Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.

Contact Jacob Fischler at

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