An Illinois Republican congressman says he will pay for his elaborate "Downton Abbey" decor, after a watchdog group filed an ethics complaint accusing him of accepting decorating services for free.
Rep. Aaron Schock spoke out Wednesday in defense of his “Downton"-themed office digs, saying, in the words of Taylor Swift, "haters gonna hate.”
The Washington watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics had filed a complaint Tuesday asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether the 33-year-old violated House rules by accepting free interior decoration services and using campaign funds to pay for office furniture.
Schock’s interior designer told reporters she was not paid for her $70,000 renovation services, and this was not the first time she designed Schock’s congressional office.
But Schock told reporters he does plan on paying for the services out-of-pocket; he just hasn’t yet, because he has yet to receive an invoice.
As for the scrutiny he’s received for hiring a luxurious interior designer to outfit his congressional offices in the first place, he said in a statement he’s just "never been an old crusty white guy,” hence the bright red walls.
“I'm different. I came to Congress at 27,” Schock said. “When I go take a personal vacation I don’t sit on the beach, I go do active things. And so, I'm also not going to live in a cave. So when I post an Instagram photo with me and my friends, as Taylor Swift said, 'haters gonna hate.'"
Despite being one of the country’s youngest to have a seat in the House, he said his taste in décor has little to do with his role as a congressman.
"At the end of the day, regardless of what color wall you choose your office, the most important thing in Congress is what you do for your constituents and what you do for your job," Schock said.