GOP leader targets Peloton in extended House floor 'diatribe' that links exercise benefit to formula shortage
Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (AFP)

The leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives went after an exercise equipment company on Wednesday.

"California Rep. Kevin McCarthy spent nearly 10 minutes on the House floor Wednesday ranting about Peloton, an exercise company that became widely popular early in the coronavirus pandemic," the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday. "His diatribe came in response to a proposal by House administrators to make Peloton Corporate Wellness benefits available to all House staff, including in-district staff and Capitol Police officers."

The GOP Leader attempted to link the issue to the infant formula shortage.

“This week, as families struggle to find baby formula, Speaker Pelosi’s House decided to add special new perks for Washington lawmakers and staff,” McCarthy said. “One of those perks was a VIP membership to Peloton, paid for by hardworking American taxpayers."

"What’s next, free Jeni’s ice cream?” he wondered.

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The newspaper noted, "With their new perks, congressional staffers could use a Peloton bike at their local gym for free — simply having a Peloton membership doesn’t mean a person needs to spend $2,000 to acquire a bike."

The newspaper noted McCarthy's complaints about the bicycles not transporting the user anywhere.

"McCarthy’s harping on the bike’s stationary status also comes across as strange. Fitness bikes are supposed to be stationary. And unlike most, the Peloton bike can access the internet and offers an array of workout programs and spin classes through the screen attached to the handlebars," the newspaper noted. "If all of this seems like madness, that’s because it is. While McCarthy is probably right to point out that this isn’t the best use of taxpayer money, we’re not sure that outweighs the embarrassment that comes with making a withering 10-minute speech about Peloton in the same chamber that Franklin Roosevelt once used to address Congress after the Pearl Harbor attack."

Read the full report.