She’s a self-proclaimed socialist who says $174,000 is way too small a salary for members of Congress.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) wants to give herself and the other 434 representatives a $4,500 cost of living increase, a boost that Democratic leaders yanked out of concerns about a backlash from voters.
“It’s not a fun or politically popular position to take,” she tweeted. “But consistency is important. ALL workers should get cost of living increases. That’s why minimum wage should be pegged to inflation, too.”
Under the terms of a 1989 law, representatives must specifically vote for the cost of living increase or they won’t get one. Fear of political repercussions has led both Democratic and Republican leaders to shy away from giving themselves a raise.
The congresswoman says everyone should get a raise, even Republican fat cats. In fact, she said boosting lawmakers’ take-home pay will make them less reliant on “self-dealing” and sleazy side gigs to make extra money.
Unlike most lawmakers, Ocasio-Cortez was working as a low-wage restaurant worker with little or no assets when she was elected to Congress.
She made headlines — and earned some mocking quotes from rivals — for complaining that she couldn’t afford to move to Washington D.C. until her first government paycheck arrived.