Ocasio-Cortez Calls on D.C. to Pay Higher Wages for Staffers

Ocasio-Cortez Calls on D.C. to Pay Higher Wages for Staffers

Ocasio-Cortez Calls on D.C. to Pay Higher Wages for Staffers

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -the self-described Democratic Socialist yet to be sworn into Congress- revealed this week she has her eyes set on a possible position on the House Ways and Means Committee; the committee largely in charge of USA taxation laws.

In the tweet posted from her official social media account, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the government could have easily paid for the healthcare scheme if Pentagon accounting errors were corrected and the money applied to her agenda.

On Monday, she said that when she went to a "dive spot in D.C. for some late night food," she talked with the staff. A 2017 study by Washington based advocacy group Pay Our Interns reported that 8% of Republican House representatives pay their interns compared with 3.6% of Democratic representatives.

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The incoming progressive icon also called on Republicans to either cut their staffs or raise members' allowances so wages could increase.

"Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. SEVERAL bartenders, managers, & servers *currently worked in Senate + House offices, *" she wrote. The 29-year-old elected lawmaker has said she can't afford a DC apartment before her $174,000 congressional salary kicks in in January.

"It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked staff just bc Republicans want to make a statement about 'fiscal responsibility, '" she tweeted.

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In a follow-up tweet, the newly-elected Democratic Socialist from NY argued that it was unfair for Congress to "rely on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked staff".

On Monday, Pay Our Interns tweeted a screenshot of an ad for an unpaid press intern to work for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Hours later, Schumer's office announced that the job posting had been made "in error" and said that Schumer's interns will be paid a stipend in the new Congress.

Essentially she says, it only allows those that are rich enough, to come work for free as an intern on Capitol Hill.

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From 2019, both the Senate and the House will have funds to pay interns.

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