Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Tuesday called for congressional staffers to be paid more, saying that diverse “working-class” people can’t make enough to make ends meet in Washington, D.C.
Pointing out that congressional staffers remain mostly white, AOC noted that young people of color and those from working-class families may have the resources to take a relatively low-paying job as a lawmaker’s aide.
“Congress doesn’t pay enough to retain working-class talent,” she tweeted. “Many can’t afford to work here or need a 2nd job.”
Ocasio-Cortez boasts that she pays her interns $15 an hour and her lowest-paid aide makes more than $50,000 a year.
But she said paying decent wages means having a smaller team since lawmakers are allocated a set amount to spend on staff.
“Low pay shuts the door for so many talented people right out of the gate that they can’t accept the opportunity,” she tweeted. “Some wages are so low they essentially require generational wealth to subsidize.”