Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a payment on her five-figure student loan debt — right in the middle of a hearing about America’s $1.5 trillion student debt problem.
The liberal rising star said the dramatic $1,200 online payment should be a wake-up call to her Republican colleagues about how widespread the student debt burden is.
“I’m hearing people on this committee say it’s not our job," Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday, referring to congressional Republicans, according to USA Today. "This is our job.”
AOC, who attended pricey Boston University, said she owed $20,200 and change before logging on to fork over the cash. She’s still 19 grand in the hole, a significant financial millstone for the 29 year old representative who makes $174,000.
She’s not alone, either, even in the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill.
Although many members of Congress are millionaires, some 68 hold significant student debt loads, according to Roll Call. Eight representatives owe more than $100,000, an eye-popping figure that is common among those who have attended graduate schools.
Economists say student loans are a major drag on the U.S. economy. Recent graduates who should be major drivers of consumer spending say bulging student loan payments force them to delay buying homes and cars and even make them think twice about getting married or having children.