Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or more commonly known as “AOC”, is a U.S. Representative in Congress who is historically known for her liberal views. The meme above from The Conservative Nation depicts an unflattering image of AOC with text reading
“I’ve only spent 5 months in congress making $83 an hour, but now I want a $2.16 an hour raise. Do you think I’m CRAZY?”
This post was captioned with:
“Yes, you are definitely, certifiably, CRAZY!”
followed by a promotion unrelated to the post talking about a link that trashes big pharma.
Initially, I searched duckduckgo to find fact checking sites with info on how much House Reps get paid hourly as well as AOC’s support on the matter of congressional raises. Needless to say, I came up empty handed and needed to search mass news networks. Eventually I found a tweet directly from AOC that comes into play later in this post. I also utilized wikipedia for several statistics regarding congressional pay.
The Conservative Nation found the statistic that AOC makes $83 an hour. This assumption is based off of the idea that she works a 40 hour work week. However, this is not the case. According to Thoughtco.com, most house members work an average of 70 hours a week, which is almost double the average American work week consisting of 40 hours.
The legislative history of the $2.16/Hour raise was ignited by AOC just two short weeks before the writing of this blog post. This can be seen here. It initially started with her pushing for minimum wage and congressional salaries being increased to be balanced with inflation. In previous history, there hadn’t been many raises for salary and only consisted of adjustments for inflation despite small spikes in the early 60s and late 80s. However, since the 1990s, the salary for House Reps has significantly decreased from peaking at $215,267 in 1993 to a low of $174,000 annually.
AOC was clearly pushing for a raise in this tweet. In it, she openly states that voting against a congressional raise would promote dark money loopholes that still exist in congress. She also mentions in the tweet that it would make campaign financial reform harder. The $2.16 an hour raise translates to a $4,300 raise to which AOC referred to as “not even like a raise” and considered it as an adjustment of living. I encountered this tweet through going upstream from a FOX Business article. When referring to her salary, according to wikipedia, the base salary for all House Reps is $174K annually.
Overall, the meme depicting AOC is only half truthful in that she makes more than $86 an hour. The fact about making $2.16 is also wrong because these statistics were created assuming House Reps work 40 hours a week which of course they do not. The truth to this meme is that AOC heavily supports the idea of a congressional raise.