U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is complaining that $174,000 per year isn’t enough money for her and that Congress members should earn a lot more even though she knows nobody agrees with her.
The New York Democrat has whined for years that those serving in the House and Senate need a pay raise. She’s not the only one to say it either.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who briefly served as interim speaker of the House in October, also believes that if you are going to attract competent people to run for office, you have to pay them more.
“McHenry believes member pay itself needs to increase in order to incentivize ‘credible people to run for office that want to serve the public and to be effective legislators,'” The Dispatch reported earlier in January when discussing McHenry’s pending retirement.
A $174,000 salary isn’t enough for members of Congress. In fact, they should probably give themselves a $100,000 raise. These Scumbags gave themselves a 34K a year Travel adj. to their pay they are not telling us. 10K a year for Furniture, Huge auto lease Program all cash. WTF
— Michael Manlove (@mikelm31) January 12, 2024
“Most of us live on the salary. And then, you know, the very wealthy few end up dominating the news because of their personal stock trades, when most of us don’t have wealth,” McHenry noted.
“McHenry conceded, however, that voters likely have little sympathy on this matter because the ‘public view is that Congress is not getting much done, and that’s for damn sure been the case [in 2023],'” The Dispatch quoted him.
Ocasio-Cortez seized on McHenry’s sentiment, pushing for more money for herself and others.
“I’ve been saying this for some time,” she told Business Insider in an interview. “I think he’s right. I know it’s kind of a contrarian position.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants more money as well despite her wealth. According to The Street, she’s worth in the neighborhood of $7.5 million.
Most of America get to work paycheck to paycheck and these snakes want to give themselves another pay raise during an economic depression. This is why Congress sucks. pic.twitter.com/NJY05XqQh6
— Kiko Gomez (@thedonofyreka) January 14, 2024
Ocasio-Cortez, who is a member of the “Squad” and is also a Democratic Socialist, contends that a pay bump for Congress members is needed for anticorruption reasons and to open the door for a wider range of Americans to run for office.
“If we want working-class people who don’t rely on independent wealth, to represent people in Congress, we have to make it work,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed while pointing out that members of Congress need to have residences in both Washington and their home districts.
She was quick to contend that she was not just looking for money for herself.
“We need to raise the minimum wage, we need to make childcare financially viable, and we need to do that for every American,” she claimed. “We also need to do it in the House.”
They can never take enough of other people’s money.
— Rob Linton (@RobLinton4) January 15, 2024
“Since 2009, rank-and-file members of the House and Senate have been paid a $174,000 annual salary, and Congress has blocked cost-of-living adjustments every year since then,” Business Insider noted.
“While that’s more than 80% of American households make in a year, experts have argued that lawmakers remain underpaid, given both the importance and the unique demands of their job. If lawmakers’ salaries had kept pace with inflation, they would make over $250,000 now,” the outlet added.
While Ocasio-Cortez and others think Congress members deserve a raise, polling doesn’t seem to agree with them according to Business Insider. Many Americans oppose a raise for them and lawmakers themselves argue against it on both sides of the aisle.
“People who make great contributions to America don’t do it for the money,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told Business Sider in an interview. “I think we can attract talent without the finances.”