Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commits to paying her interns $15 an hour

07 December, 2018, 16:28 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently went out to eat in Washington D.C. While out she was inspired by all the hardworking patrons at the restaurant who were also unpaid interns in the House and Senate.

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.

Although Ocasio-Cortez seemed to blame Republicans for congressional staffers' low pay, a June 2017 study by Pay Our Interns found they actually use fewer unpaid interns than their Democratic colleagues.

The message may have pressured Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to announce on Monday that he'll pay his interns a stipend in the new congress. 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".

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.

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The House interns fare much worse with only 8 per cent of Republican interns who are paid and an abysmal 3.6 per cent of Democrats interns are. "We will be one of them".

"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'". As a Latino, Vera said, "I saw an extreme lack of diversity, both in interns and staff in Congress".

Late on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez pledged on Twitter that she would be paying her own interns.

She shared a tweet that there are no apartments under $1,000-a-month on Capitol Hill- something that an intern making "zero dollars" would of not be able to afford without financial backing from their families. Most interns go unpaid in the nation's capital; unsurprisingly, more Republicans now offer paid internships than Democrats. Each member of Congress is allowed four interns at a time.

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