FACT CHECK: Do These Photos Show Senators ‘Sleeping On The Job’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows four U.S. senators “sleeping on the job.”

Verdict: False

The people in the images have been identified as members of the U.K.’s House of Lords.

Fact Check:

The Feb. 25 Facebook post shares a collage of images showing four people seemingly asleep. Text inside the image says, “If $15/hr is too much for a minimum wage then $85/hr is too much to pay our senators to do literally nothing,” while the Facebook user remarked, “These are the people who decided the fate of our country. No wonder we are screwed they are sleeping on the job.”

But, contrary to the post’s claim, the photos in the Facebook post do not actually show U.S. senators “sleeping on the job.” U.S. senators sit at individual desks inside the Senate chamber, not long benches, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

Instead, the people in the photos have been identified in U.K. media coverage as members of the country’s House of Lords.

The image on the left showing a blonde woman in a teal shirt appeared in a June 2018 article published by The Sun bearing the headline, “LORDS A SLEEPING Peers given telling off for looking like they’re having a snooze in the chamber.” The U.K. Parliament’s website notes that “peer” is another term for a House of Lords member.

BBC journalist Michael Crick included the upper-right image showing a blonde woman in a white jacket asleep in a March 2018 blog post that identifies her as a member of the House of Lords. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show UK Government Letter About Proposed Mandatory Microchips)

Check Your Fact found the lower-right photo, which shows two people on leather benches, in a September 2017 article posted by The Paisley Independent, a local news outlet in the U.K., with the caption: “Another Snoozefest at the House of Lords!”

The U.S. Senate voted on March 5 to reject a plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, according to The New York Times. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had introduced the measure as an amendment to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by the House of Representatives that same day, the outlet reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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