Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took a bite out of Fox News on Monday, going after a segment of “Fox & Friends” that mocked her decision to make sure no staffer earned less than $52,000 a year.
“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 said. “So the next time GOP screams ‘socialist,’ know that’s their go-to attack for any common-sense, humane policy.”
The AOC tweet came in response to a segment in which co-host Pete Hegseth told viewers Monday that the decision to up entry level salaries would come at the expense of senior staffers and was essentially “communism.”
“Every Capitol Hill office has a limited amount of money to pay their staff. So you have to decide how to allocate it. She said everyone in my office will [be] paid a living wage,” Hegseth said. “Which means your entry level intern is making 52 grand while your chief of staff — who is a very important role in a congressional office — now is capped at 80 [thousand].”
“It’s actually socialism and communism on display,” he added.
The tussle with AOC is the latest news for Hegseth since he admitted on air two weeks ago that he did not wash his hands (something he later suggested was a joke).
Ocasio-Cortez has spoken at length about long hours and low salaries of Capitol Hill staffers and has aimed to use her own office salaries as an example (one that certainly won’t go unnoticed by staffers at other Democratic offices).
“Leadership starts with our choices. That’s why I decided that no one on my staff will make less than $52k/year. It’s likely one of the highest entry-level salaries on the Hill. We pinch pennies elsewhere, but it’s worth every dime to pay a living wage,” she said on Twitter to much fanfare last week.
“It’s pretty sad that people think low Congressional staff pay is a good thing. Low pay a big reason why money in politics is a problem – you can make a lot more money becoming a lobbyist & setting up a relationship w/ one, since the actual job doesn’t pay enough.”