Ocasio-Cortez, Who Makes Triple Average Household Income, Defends $4,500 Pay Hike: ‘Not Even Like a Raise’
REPORTER: "You think there's a tendency of members to obviously take it out on this institution, but it's an optics issue, they don't want to seem like --"
OCASIO-CORTEZ: "Right. And that's my issue, is that it's superficial. You know, you can vote against pay increases all you want. In my opinion, voting against a pay -- voting against a -- it's not even like a raise. It's a cost of living adjustment. So you can vote against the cost of living adjustment all you want and it'll look good on the surface, but every cost of living adjustment that gets bypasses is voting to increase the pressure to exploit loopholes and legal loopholes to kind of lean on other ways to enrich oneself in service. So my whole side of it is, like, it may not be optics, it may not be great optics. It may not, like, look the best in terms of your opponents could exploit it as a political issue. But in substance, you might as well be transparent about a cost of living increase, fight for a cost of living increase for all American workers, peg the minimum wage to a cost of living increase. And then on top of it, close a lot of loopholes that a lot of people use when it comes to sitting on a committee and knowing what legislation may be coming down the loophole and changing your stock holdings. You know, these are real issues and I don't think that voting against a cost of living increase is going to negate the actual issues at hand. In fact, it only increases the pressure for people to exploit those loopholes"