Ocasio-Cortez decries congressional pay, vows to give interns ‘at least’ $15 an hour

WASHINGTON – Incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez intends to be one of many few lawmakers on Capitol Hill who pay their interns, the New York Democrat stated in a tweet Tuesday. 

And her chief of employees instructed The Washington Submit that they intend to pay the interns “a minimum of” $15 an hour.

“Time to stroll the stroll,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Only a few members of Congress really pay their interns, We will probably be on of them.” 

Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is the youngest lady ever elected to Congress. The self-described democratic-socialist has taken her advocacy of employees’ rights to Washington the place she has already begun to tackle the best way congressional staffers usually, and interns particularly, are paid. 

On Monday, she stated that when she went to a “dive spot in D.C. for some late night food,” she talked with the employees. She stated lots of them instructed her that they have been congressional staffers working second jobs, prompting her to name the pay charges for folks working in Senate and Home places of work a “shame.” 

“It’s unjust for Congress to finances a residing wage for ourselves, but depend on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked employees simply bc Republicans need to make an announcement about ‘fiscal accountability,'” she tweeted Monday. 

Later that day she commented on the “wealthy irony” of lawmakers asking, “How are you going to pay for it?” who then “develop awfully quiet when referred to as out on their expectation that part-time employees magically invent cash to work without cost.” 

Though Ocasio-Cortez appeared in charge Republicans for congressional staffers’ low pay, a June 2017 study by Pay Our Interns discovered they really use fewer unpaid interns than their Democratic colleagues. 

The research discovered that 51 p.c of Senate Republicans provide paid internships in contrast with 31 p.c of Democrats. Within the Home, simply eight p.c of Republicans and solely 3.6 p.c of Democrats provide paid internships.

On Monday, Pay Our Interns tweeted a screenshot of an advert for an unpaid press intern to work for Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Schumer’s workplace told Rolling Stone that the ad “was made in error” and that starting in January, they are going to provide “a stipend to eligible interns.”

Congress has taken steps to deal with the issue. An appropriations measure signed by President Donald Trump in September included an annual allowance of $20,000 per House member for internships. That cash is along with the general Members’ Representational Allowance given to every lawmaker to pay staffers. 

One other latest budgetary concern of Ocasio-Cortez drew sharp criticism. Based mostly on an article that appeared in The Nation, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted $21 trillion in Pentagon funds “couldn’t be traced, documented or defined” and he or she stated that cash might have paid for 66 p.c of the projected price of a decade of common well being care. 

However Washington Post fact-checkers identified that she misrepresented the info as a result of that $21 trillion in Division of Protection errors included each optimistic and destructive errors and occurred over a 17-year interval.

The Submit gave the declare “4 Pinocchios,” a score it reserves for “whoppers.” 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first days: Treated as intern, clothing criticized

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Ocasio-Cortez decries congressional pay, vows to give interns 'at least' $15 an hour

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