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Fox News freaks out about Ocasio-Cortez paying her staffers a living wage

A Fox News host said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to pay all her staff a starting wage of at least $52,000 is ‘socialism and communism on display.’

By Emily Singer - February 25, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In yet the latest example of Republicans embarrassing themselves in their quest to vilify Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a Fox News host on Sunday said the freshman Democrat’s plan to pay her congressional staff a living wage was “socialism and communism on display.”

The comment came from “Fox & Friends” co-host Pete Hegseth, who was commenting on Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to implement a starting wage of at least $52,000 in her office.

Of course, every member of Congress gets a budget, called a Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA), and can choose to allocate that budget as they see fit, including hiring up to 18 permanent employees. There’s a maximum salary that staffers cannot earn more than, currently $168,411 annually in the House.

However, the median salary for staffers on Capitol Hill is as low as $35,000 a year, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported — a number that makes living in and around the expensive Washington, D.C., area a challenge.

Ocasio-Cortez has simply decided that she will start her staffers at a living wage of $52,000, and adjust how she uses the rest of her budget to adhere to the spending limit.

Never one to shy away from responding to her critics, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to Hegseth’s comment as yet another sign that Republicans will go to ridiculous lengths to vilify socialism.

“The GOP is so disconnected from the basic idea that people should be paid enough to live that Fox actually thinks me paying a living wage in my office is ‘communism,'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday morning. “So the next time GOP screams ‘socialist,’ know that’s their go-to attack for any common-sense, humane policy.

This is not the first time Republicans have tried and failed to go after Ocasio-Cortez, making themselves look ridiculous in the process.

During the 2018 midterm campaign, Republicans tried to vilify Ocasio-Cortez for growing up in a — gasp — house with four walls in Westchester, New York, which they somehow claimed was hypocritical given that she advocated for social programs. Ocasio-Cortez swatted that attack down fast.

Republicans also circulated a video of Ocasio-Cortez dancing on a rooftop while she was a college student at Boston University — seemingly an attempt to embarrass her. What a nightmare, witnessing a college student being a college student! The attack ultimately backfired.

Is seems Republicans are determined never to learn that their over-the-top attacks against Ocasio-Cortez are only fueling her rise.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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