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

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected US House representative, called out her future colleagues in Congress for paying their low-level staffers salaries below the "living wage" and for employing unpaid interns.

She tweeted a link to an article in the Washington Post in which her campaign manager, Saikat Chakrabarti, confirmed that interns in her office would be paid "at least" $15 an hour.

In a fiery series of tweets, Ocasio-Cortez shamed lawmakers for not doing enough to ensure interns are paid a workable wage across the board. "Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns, We will be on of them". She said many of them told her that they were congressional staffers working second jobs, prompting her to call the pay rates for people working in Senate and House offices a "disgrace".

Cortez made national headlines just days ago when she bizarrely suggested the Pentagon could largely finance her $32 trillion "Medicare for All" proposal.

New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says her interns and staffers will all make a living wage, and she is pushing for her constituents to follow suit. In the House, just 8 percent of Republicans and only 3.6 percent of Democrats offer paid internships.

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"It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked staff" to help Congressmen and women she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez's tweet on Monday came after a reporter said that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, another New York Democrat, is hiring an unpaid intern. I chatted up the staff. It found that in the Senate, 51% of Republicans and 31% of Democrats pay their interns. "Schumer told FOX Business that, as of January, the office will offer 'eligible interns" a stipend".

Even the liberal-friendly Washington Post couldn't allow her to skate on her latest whopper - a $21 trillion "mistake" for which The Post's fact-checkers awarded her the cringeworthy "four Pinnochios".

Both the Senate and the House legislation in 2018 to set aside funding to pay interns starting in 2019, with the House appropriating $8 million toward it and the Senate setting aside $5 million.

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