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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pledges $15 an hour — or more — for interns

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez speaks at a rally opposing Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s
nomination to the Supreme Court in October
2018.

Scott Eisen/Getty
Images


  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has promised to pay her
    Congressional interns at least $15 an hour.
  • Her pledge days after she slammed her future colleagues
    in both parties for employing unpaid interns and for not paying
    staffers a “living wage.”
  • “Very few members of Congress actually pay their
    interns. We will be one of them,” she said on Tuesday.
  • A 2017 report found that just 8% of Republicans and
    3.6% of Democrats in the House pay their
    interns. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that she will pay her
Congressional interns at least $15 an hour after slamming her
future colleagues for offering unpaid internships and failing to
pay staff a “living wage.”

“Time to walk the walk,” the Democratic Congresswoman-elect
tweeted
on Tuesday
. “Very few members of Congress actually pay their
interns. We will be one of them.”

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.

Ocasio-Cortez’s pledge comes a day after
she criticized her future colleagues in Congress,
including
Democrats, for not paying interns.

She also tweeted on Monday that she has seen congressional
employees waiting tables on the side. (Ocasio-Cortez was a
waitress before her political career took off.)


Read more: Meet
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the millennial, socialist political
novice who’s now the youngest woman ever elected to
Congress

“This week I went to dive spot in DC for some late night food. I
chatted up the staff. SEVERAL bartenders, managers, & servers
*currently worked in Senate + House offices,*”
she wrote.
“This is a disgrace.”


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez speaks in Los Angeles, California, in August
2018.

Mario Tama/Getty
Images


Ocasio-Cortez said that Congress should also increase wages for
paid staffers so they can afford to live in Washington, D.C., one
of the most expensive cities in the US.

“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

A
report
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. It found that in the Senate, 51% of
Republicans and 31% of Democrats pay their interns.

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. 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. 

Read More:


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says her healthcare as a waitress cost
double the price of plans offered to Congress

From 2019, both the Senate and the House will have funds to
pay interns.
The House will be given $8.8 million to
distribute across members’ offices, and the Senate will be given
$5 million. 

Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged
the new fund
, noting that it will give $20,000 per member of
Congress for their interns. Each member of Congress is allowed
four interns at a time.

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