Ocasio-Cortez Demands Congress Not Be Paid During Government Shutdown

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As Hillary Clinton faded from the spotlight in the run-up to the 2018 midterms, Republicans found a new candidate to fill the role of Democratic Party scapegoat: now Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The candidate’s outlandish statements on policy have kept her in the spotlight. Now, though, the self-proclaimed socialist has an idea that many Americans support.

If the United States government faces a shutdown, Ocasio-Cortez says, Congress should not get paid.

The government has been under a partial shutdown since midnight, Friday. Yet those who get to make laws will still get paid.

“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.”

Ironically, at least for her detractors, this idea is popular with the rank and file of the country, especially those who are currently being not being paid for work they are still expected to do.

“In the past, Cortez has called out how she can’t afford to reside in Washington, D.C. until her government salary kicks in and she’s challenged the system by calling out her upcoming affordability of healthcare while congresswoman, versus the inflated, outrageous prices that “regular” American citizens have to pay,” the Bipartisan Report writes.

The shutdown hasn’t resulted in the chaos that news headlines suggest. These shutdowns never do. Only certain agencies and employees will go without pay. The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development are all closed for business. Mostly. Some of those 800,000 employees are deemed “essential” and will continue to work, even though they aren’t getting paid.

Navigating the ins-and-outs of all of the agency implications is cumbersome. Perhaps not for those who are experiencing the shutdown.

One fact is easy to understand. Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen are paid around $174,000 a year. They get paid even if the government shuts down. It is a law, and not tied to funding allocations.

“Democratic Senator from Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto has pledged to donate portions of her salary to charity this month (as she did earlier this year) while the government goes through its current shutdown,” Bipartisan Report writes.

Will this endear Ocasio-Cortez to the wider American public? The odds are about as likely as anyone in Congress opting to give up their salary.