As the United States’ first ‘millennial’ member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a divisive political figure. And now, her constituents are up in arms about a new plan to bump her and her peers’ pay.
Ocasio-Cortez’ rise to power
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, was not in Congress a year– and even 6 months– ago, however, she has gained considerable attention since taking the job, knocking out longtime Rep. Joe Crowley, a major Democratic figure in Congress
The headlines following her surprise triumph last year have only increased in volume and stature.
Democrat AOC took the position railing against the impact of big money and secretive donors in American elections. She has been an advocate of better social policies and reigning in what many see as increasingly opaque political dealings.
She is likewise a primary advocate of the “Green New Deal,” a massive proposal to fundamentally realign America’s action to environmental change, which she thinks presents an existential hazard to life as we know it.
The New York congresswoman raised a significant $2 million for her 2018 campaign while declining to take cash from business-related political action committees. Of that, over 60 percent originated from people providing less than $200– the most significant rate of small-dollar funding among existing U.S. House members.
Now, the young congresswoman has found herself in a precarious position …
Ocasio-Cortez pushes for a higher paid Congress
Ocasio-Cortez initially brought attention to the financial resources of legislators after the midterm elections with stories about her own economic battles during the transition period between the election and the swearing-in of the new Congress.
And on March 13, she went even further, arguing for a boost in legislator pay. Ocasio-Cortez said that “raising staffer pay helps get money out of politics” which increasing the wages for members of Congress could do the very same.
Ocasio-Cortez appears to have been reacting in part to a wave of scandals including members of Congress taking additional benefits under the table. For example, Rep. Chris Collins was charged with insider trading and Rep. Duncan Hunter was implicated in the use of $250,000 in campaign funds for individual costs.
But while the freshman politician might have a reasonable case to support the idea, according to a new survey, the political case for improving Congress’ salaries is not strong, with over 55 percent of individuals suggesting that lawmakers’ pay is currently too high.
TIME announces next cover star
Regardless of her divisive politics, it’s become clear that Ocasio-Cortez is having an impact in Washington.
Her strong stances on social concerns and her position as a Democratic Socialist has actually made her targets from both sides of the aisle, and she has risen to fulfill the obstacle appropriately. She has developed into among the most well-known lawmakers in the United States due to the fact that her voice is undoubtedly resonating with America’s youth.
For these factors, TIME revealed Ocasio-Cortez, much better known as “AOC,” as its next cover star.
She told the publication, “I used to be much more negative about just how much was up against us,” adding, “I think I have actually changed my mind. Since I believe that change is a lot closer than we think.”
She then took to Twitter, stating, “I believe in an America where all things are possible. Where a basic, dignified life isn’t a dream, but a norm. That’s why I got up then,& why I get up now.”