Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will reportedly pay interns she hires a minimum of $15 per hour, unlike most Republican and even more Democratic representatives.
Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti confirmed to The Washington Post that the democratic socialist taking her House seat in January will pay “at least” $15 hourly to her interns.
That would be a huge gesture considering a study by Pay Our Interns last year found that only 3.6 percent of interns for House Democrats were paid and 8 percent of interns for House Republicans were compensated. Senators offered more paid internships but the percentages weren’t great either—31 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans.
A 2017 study found that only 8% of House Republicans and 4% (!) of House Ds pay their interns
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) 4 December 2018
Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff confirmed her internships would be paid, a day after she addressed the issue on Twitter.
“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,” she wrote on Twitter, and quote tweeted a post by Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis.
Dennis on Monday tweeted about the unfairness of lawmakers still seeking unpaid interns in 2018, given the high cost of living in Washington, D.C.
“Apartmentsdotcom lists zero apartments under $1,000 a month on Capitol Hill. Zero,” Dennis tweeted. “That seriously limits who can afford to take an internship.” The reporter then provided an image showing that the only listings for apartments renting out under a grand a month were outside of Capitol Hill.