Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Lawmakers Should Lose Their Salaries Too When They Shut Down the Government

Capitol Hill
The United States flag is flown half staff near the US Capitol during sunrise on December 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Democrats refused to agree with President Donald Trump's demands for five billion dollars to go towards building a wall on the U.S. southern border. Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Congressional salaries to be furloughed during government shutdowns after the Senate and House failed to pass a spending bill on Friday.

"Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday. "It's completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision. Have some integrity."

The government went into a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday amid a continuing fight between President Donald Trump and Democrats over the border wall. The President refused to sign a spending bill that did not include $5 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He had previously vowed to make Mexico pay for the wall. It did not.

Federal workers who are considered "essential," more than 420,000, will continue working without pay, according to CBS News. Those employees will eventually receive pack pay. However, an addition 380,000 government employees will be furloughed and may miss a paycheck depending on how long the shutdown lasts.

Ocasio-Cortez, who is set to join Congress as a representative for New York's 14th District, has been a vocal critic of the demand for $5 billion for a border wall. When the House passed a short-term spending bill with $5.7 billion for border security, Ocasio-Cortez commented on how else the money could be spent.

She floated the idea of spending $5.7 billion on teacher pay, replacing water pipes, college tuition/prescription refuel subsidies or green jobs. "And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "But notice how no one's asking the GOP how they're paying for it."

On Friday, she outlined another way the $5.7 billion could be spent instead of Trump's proposed wall.

"For the wall's $5.7 billion, every child in America could have access to Universal Pre-K. Yet when we propose the SAME $, we're told Universal Edu is a 'fantasy' & asked 'how are you going to pay for it.' Education is investment in society that yields returns," she tweeted. "Walls are waste."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Lawmakers Should Lose Their Salaries Too When They Shut Down the Government | U.S.