Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her office

In The News Piece in Roll Call
Rachael Warriner /
Feb. 22, 2019

Lee Drutman was quoted in a Roll Call piece about pay raises for Hill staff.

Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at New America’s political reform program who has studied congressional pay, said not every office would be able to find top-tier candidates willing to take such a hit for the team.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people who are really excited to work for her, and who might be willing to forgo some salary for a few years just for the excitement of working for a member who is so hot right now,” he said. “But is that sustainable for the long term?”
Individual members can only do so much to address what is really an institutional problem, Drutman said. He said he hoped staff pay will be one of the issues on the agenda when the new Committee on the Modernization of Congress begins to meet.
“Congress can’t continue to pay low staff salaries and expect to get and retain the best and brightest policy minds in Washington,” he said.
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