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Sometimes a restaurant special offer is just that. And sometimes it's a political statement that helps communicate the overwhelming sentiment of the American people toward Congress right now: "Do your freakin' jobs."
With the government shutdown in effect, there are a number of restaurants throughout the Washington area that are offering specials to federal employees who are temporarily out of work. But members of Congress better not try to get in on those deals: Some eateries are specifying that those particular esteemed (ahem) government employees must instead pay more than the standard menu price.
According to Gawker, at least four restaurants in the region are making such requirements of congresspeople, like Range, from Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio, which is giving away free "government cheese" pizzas to ID-holding government employees, but members of Congress are "not eligible until you get your s--t together." Similarly, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is offering happy hour all day long -- except for congresspeople, who can expect to pay double for their beverages.
Can these rules be enforced, either practically or legally? Maybe not, as Eater points out. But that's not the point. The point, of course, is, "Do your freakin' jobs."