'Have some integrity': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for furlough of Congressional pay amid government shutdown

US Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for congressional salaries to be put on hold during the next government shutdown.


The US government went into a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday after President Trump refused to sign a spending bill that did not include $5 billion for his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He had long claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall.

“It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

“Have some integrity,” she added, calling for salaries to be furloughed for the next shutdown.

Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well.

It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision.

Have some integrity. https://t.co/BgueNNjf0f

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 22, 2018

(Spoiler alert: most members of Congress are already wealthy!)

Speaking as a working class member-elect, I think it’s only fair.

It would also cause members who actually depend on their salary to think twice about leadership and take a shutdown vote more seriously. https://t.co/fSAcPAj0Xf

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 22, 2018

Members of the House and the Senate are paid $174,000 a year. According to Roll Call, 153 House members and 50 senators are millionaires.

More than 420,000 federal workers who are considered “essential” will continue working -- but without pay, according to CBS News. Those employees may eventually receive back pay. However, an additional 380,000 workers will be furloughed and may miss a paycheck depending on how long the shutdown lasts.  

Ocasio-Cortez, who will join Congress in early January  as the new representative for New York’s 14th District, has been a vocal critic of the demand for $5 billion for a border wall. When the House passed a short-term spending bill with $5.7 billion for border security, Ocasio-Cortez challenged the GOP trope that the federal government simply doesn't have the money to implement bold progressive policies such as Medicare for All or a Green New Deal.

“And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “But notice how no one’s asking the GOP how they’re paying for it.”

For the wall’s $5.7 billion, every child in America could have access to Universal Pre-K.

Yet when we propose the SAME $, we’re told Universal Edu is a “fantasy”& asked “how are you going to pay for it”

Education is an investment in society that yields returns.
Walls are waste. https://t.co/fs0nvq6LJq

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 21, 2018

On Friday, she outlined another way the $5.7 billion could be spent instead of Trump’s proposed wall.  “For the wall’s $5.7 billion, every child in America could have access to Universal Pre-K. Yet when we propose the SAME $, we’re told Universal Edu is a ‘fantasy’ & asked ‘how are you going to pay for it.’ Education is investment in society that yields returns,” she tweeted. “Walls are waste.”

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.