Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rocks DC Establishment
NY Democratic Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she spoke with Capitol Hill staffers who moonlight as bartenders, managers, and servers to make ends meet -- something she called “unjust for ... underpaid overworked staff.” On Tuesday, she called on Congress to increase the Members’ Representational Allowance for all lawmakers so that they can raise wages for their staff and pay interns. Legislators this year passed a legislative branch funding bill which included $8.8 million for the paid internships in the House and $5 million for paid internships in the Senate. The money is already available to offices. Ocasio-Cortez has committed to pay her interns $15 an hour. The 29-year-old is also reportedly making a push for a seat on the very powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Since it oversees taxes and revenue, giving it jurisdiction over most of the U.S. economy, a spot on the Committee is one of the most coveted. NYC typically has one representative on Ways and Means -- that seat was previously held by Congressman Joe Crowley, whom Ocasio-Cortez beat during the primary. The other NYC-area member vying for the seat is Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represents the North Shore of Long Island. Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who would have the final say if her bid for Speaker is successful, would be left with a tricky choice. Ways and Means members are often prolific fundraisers and placing a lawmaker like Ocasio-Cortez, who refuses corporate PAC contributions, on the Committee could leave significant money on the table. More here.