A freshman member of Congress broke with several members of her own party after House Democrats tabled a discussion Monday night about a raise for its members.
According to Fox News, swing-state Democrats were concerned with the optics of giving themselves a $4,500 annual pay increase without support from their Republican colleagues. Members of the U.S. House make $174,000 – nearly three times as much as the median American household – yearly.
But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) held steadfastly in her position that she – a millennial former bartender – and colleagues need a raise.
“It’s not even like a raise,” Ocasio-Cortez told Fox, arguing that $4,500 is simply an adjustment for a higher cost of living.
“This is why there’s so much pressure to turn to lobbying firms and to cash in on member service after people leave, because precisely of this issue,” she said.
She echoed the same sentiment on her Twitter account.
“Yep. Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice, but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open. This makes campaign finance reform *harder.* ALL workers deserve cost of living increases, incl [sic] min wage workers,” she said.
Yep. Voting against cost of living increases for members of Congress may sound nice, but doing so only increases pressure on them to keep dark money loopholes open.
This makes campaign finance reform *harder.*
ALL workers deserve cost of living increases, incl min wage workers. https://t.co/fCdgHKx4G1
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 11, 2019
AOC’s argument is that campaign finance laws are broken, and give an inordinate amount of influence to big money lobbyists – a point on which she will not receive an argument, even from most on the political right. In most countries, donating to a political campaign for political influence is called bribery, and in many cases, it is illegal. Here, we simply call it lobbying.
But she’s a lawmaker. Her role is to fix broken laws for the betterment of her constituents. Instead, she’s strong-arming the American taxpayer into raising her salary as a prerequisite to doing her job.
How quickly our politicians learn to abuse their power.
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