WASHINGTON -- In an act of shear politics, the House of Representatives trimmed its perquisites yesterday by sharply raising prices at its tax-subsidized barbershop.
A House administration subcommittee doubled the tab for a basic haircut from $5 to $10 and bumped the bill for a shoeshine from 75 cents to $2 in the barbershop's first round of price increases since 1979.
The action comes at a time when polls show voters are in a political lather over congressional benefits. An outcry arose recently over revelations that House members had bounced 8,000 checks at their cooperative bank and owed more than $300,000 at the House restaurant.
Raising prices at the House barbershop is a "very positive first step toward reform," said Representative Mary Rose Oakar, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the subcommittee.