Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Congress Should Go Without Pay During Shutdown

Photo credit: Mario Tama - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mario Tama - Getty Images


The partial government shutdown over funding for President's Trump border wall will force hundreds of thousands of federal employees to work without pay, and hundreds of thousands more to be sent home without pay. New York Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks members of Congress should be among them.

"Next time we have a gov shutdown," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday, "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."

Ocasio-Cortez will be rare among congresspeople in that she comes from a working class background and is largely dependent on her congressional salary. In November, she told the New York Times she wasn't sure she could afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. before she starts getting paid in January.

Still, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "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."

On Thursday, a Republican lawmaker from Pennsylvania told Politico that he doubted the furlough would impact federal employees. “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?” Rep. Scott Perry said. (Most Americans, according to a 2017 survey.)

Furloughed federal workers will be repaid after the shut down ends-Thursday at the earliest. Trump tweeted Friday that if Democrats refuse to fund the $5 billion wall, the shut down "will last a long time."

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