Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed those, particularly centrist Democrats, who believed a $15 an hour minimum wage was "too much."
Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently made an appearance on The Mehdi Hasan Show, where she discussed a plethora of issues. However, she has gone viral yet again for her most recent comments on a $15 per hour minimum wage. Democrats were adamant about including the increased minimum wage within the upcoming stimulus package but have since agreed to table the idea, mostly owing to Republican pushback but also some Democrats. In her interview with Hasan, she was asked what she thought of Senator Joe Manchin's statements on the $15 minimum wage. He called the wage part of a "cr*zy, socialist agenda." To this, Ocasio-Cortez had a scathing response, a video posted to Twitter by MSNBC reveals.
"Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is the 'cr*zy, socialist agenda' is living in a dystopian, capitalist nightmare," the representative retorted. "We should not prop that up. We should not continue that. People are sleeping in their cars. They can't afford baby formula. There are basic goods that people can't afford [because they] live on $7.25. It is deeply, deeply shameful that we are even having this conversation." Ocasio-Cortez then explained that when we take the minimum wage from several decades ago and account for inflation and productivity, the minimum wage should be higher than $15. She affirmed, "It should be $24 an hour."
The representative then called on other Democrats to act after understanding "how deep of a compromise" $15 an hour is. "By the way, this bill has a multi-year phase-in as well," she added. "So even if we pass this, to the progressives' discontent, we are talking about a multi-year phase-in which will chip away even more." Taking the case of Senator Manchin's constituency in particular, Ocasio-Cortez shared that his constituents believed in a $15 minimum wage. She affirmed, "In almost every pocket of this country, you cannot afford rent if you are making minimum wage. If you are working a full-time job, you should be able to afford to live." She finally added that keeping the minimum wage artificially low came at a large cost to the government in the form of subsidies to major companies such as Walmart and Amazon as a means to pay for social safety net programs.
“I do believe that we should override the parliamentarian. I think...that our constituents and people across this country put Democrats in power to, among many other things, establish a $15 minimum wage.”@aoc to me on @MSNBC's @MehdiHasanShow debut todaypic.twitter.com/hn6HyP8cj2— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) March 1, 2021
Despite similarly fierce campaigning for a $15 an hour minimum wage, progressives abandoned the proposal on Monday after confronting several practical and political challenges in drafting their proposal over the weekend. On Thursday last week, the Senate parliamentarian claimed that the wage, included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, was inadmissible under the rules the Democrats were using to pass the bill through the Senate. Although Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden and Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders claimed they would instead seek to add tax penalties on large corporations that fail to pay $15 an hour, this idea has since fallen through. Therefore, Democrats have said they plan to include the $15 an hour minimum wage in a separate legislative package to be advanced later in Biden’s administration.
"Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is the 'crazy, socialist agenda' is living in a dystopian, capitalist nightmare. We should not prop that up. We should not continue that. People are sleeping in their cars," Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says about increasing the minimum wage. pic.twitter.com/71K9iVkfKX— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 1, 2021