Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been an advocate of raising the minimum wage nationwide. Now, she says it’s time for her to “walk the walk” and pay her own congressional interns, a rare move in Congress.
According to the Washington Post, House members of both parties rarely pay interns. And even though Democrats are more vocal about a higher federal minimum wage, they fall behind their Republican colleagues in paying their own interns any amount at all.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the statistic and promised to pay her interns.
Time to walk the walk.
Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them. https://t.co/BuKCDSai0K
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 5, 2018
Before the official announcement Tuesday, the congresswoman-elect criticized current congress members who currently don’t pay their interns. “Gotta love the rich irony of Congressmen asking ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ suddenly grow quiet when called out on their expectation that part-time workers magically invent money to work for free,” she tweeted Monday.
Gotta love the rich irony of Congressmen asking “How are you going to pay for it?” suddenly grow awfully quiet when called out on their expectation that part-time workers magically invent money to work for free https://t.co/303cx5DpvA
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 3, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti told the Washington Post that she would be paying her interns “at least” $15 an hour, a number that matches her and other progressives idea of a living minimum wage, a concept made popular by Sen. Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential run. The minimum wage in Washington D.C. is currently $13.25 an hour but will rise to $15 an hour by 2020.
Watch this victorious moment when Amazon workers find out their wages are rising to $15/hr.
This is the power of organizing and amplifying from the bottom-up.⤴️
Thank you @BernieSanders for leading on this fight.
Next: A living wage for ALL Americans.pic.twitter.com/YfLEh9J8lA
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) October 3, 2018