Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promises to pay interns $15 an hour

Laverne Higgins
December 7, 2018

When the office of Ocasio-Cortez responded to the Washington Post and called their critique semantic in nature, they rejected the excuse. "Congress of ALL places should raise [Members" Representational Allowances] so we can pay staff an actual DC living wage", she wrote. Bernie Sanders, who also pays his interns $15 per hour. She cited the $21 trillion figure and said '66 percent of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon'. As a Latino, Vera said, "I saw an extreme lack of diversity, both in interns and staff in Congress".

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 U.S. taxation laws. "SEVERAL bartenders, managers, & servers *currently worked in Senate + House offices, *" she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez's congressional campaign rejected corporate donations, and the representative-elect - who is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress - has frequently criticized the influence of money in politics, the expense of running for office, and the lack of working-class representatives in American politics.

She also tweeted on Monday that she has seen congressional employees waiting tables on the side.

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

Areport in 2017 from non-profit group Pay Our Interns found that in the House, just 8% of Republicans and 3.6% of Democrats pay interns. Most interns go unpaid in the nation's capital; unsurprisingly, more Republicans now offer paid internships than Democrats.

Congress, until recently, has historically provided unpaid internships in all but a few roles on Capitol Hill. The House will be given $8.8 million to distribute across members' offices, and the Senate will be given $5 million.

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".

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