Here’s Where Kevin McCarthy Lays His Head in D.C.

Somehow, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy got himself one sweetheart of a deal on housing in the nation’s capital.

Washington, D.C. is the fifth most expensive city in which to live in the United States, ranking behind only New York, San Francisco, Honolulu and Boston. One of the hottest, most desirable neighborhoods is Penn Quarter and one of that area’s premier addresses is The Clara Barton at 616 E Street, NW. It’s just a few blocks from Capitol Hill and is surrounded by scores of high-end dining choices. The building’s website boasts that it offers “Hotel-style living with every conceivable amenity and service. Out your door is DC’s version of Manhattan with restaurants, shops, theaters and the metro.”

That building, which offers residents access to a 24/7 concierge, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, a media room, a business center, and a party room with a bar and pool table, is where the California congressman is renting a room from political pollster Frank Luntz – all for only $1,500 a month. There currently are no units available to rent at The Clara Barton, but if there were minimum rent would approach $3,000 a month.

Tucker Carlson got all worked up about the arrangement the other night after having received a tip about the McCarthy-Luntz shacking up situation. The Fox News host asked McCarthy’s spokesperson to confirm the arrangement and received the following reply: “Because of the pandemic, McCarthy has rented a room in Washington at a fair market price from Frank.”

The millionaire fish stick heir was non-plussed by that response. “Kevin McCarthy promises Republicans he shares their values,” Carlson said. “He tells them he’s on their side. He says he will fight for them against permanent Washington, the forces that would like to destroy their lives … and at the end of the day, Kevin McCarthy goes home to Frank Luntz’s apartment in Penn Quarter and laughs about it.”

The apartment must be spectacular. It’s a 7,000-square-foot space — a combination of four penthouse apartments that Luntz purchased and combined into one living space. McCarthy apparently is renting one of its 12 bedrooms and probably has access to any of its 12 full bathrooms and 4½ baths. That’s a lot of living in Washington, D.C. for just $1,500 a month.

Could it be that McCarthy is thumbing his nose at House ethics rules by landing himself such a sweetheart deal? “Tangible gifts are generally valued at the item’s fair market value, even if the item is not typically for sale,” House ethics rules say. “Fair market value is the item’s retail price, not the wholesale price, or the reasonable estimate of an item’s cost if it were available for sale. You may use the lowest price available to the general public to value a gift.”

McCarthy’s monthly salary is $16,116, or $193,400 a year.

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