AOC: $15 Minimum Wage is ‘Our Responsibility’

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“Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is a crazy socialist agenda is living in a dystopian capitalist nightmare,” Bronx Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday evening on MSNBC. 

“People are sleeping in their cars, they can’t afford baby formula … it is deeply, deeply shameful that we are even having this conversation,” she argued.

Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) said during an interview Sunday night that voters are counting on Democrats to pass the pay raise.

As Newsweek explained, the Senate parliamentarian ruled last week that the $15 minimum wage hike could not pass through the complicated budget reconciliation process. 

Democrats have relied on that process to push through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Bailout Plan. 

Legislation passed through budget reconciliation requires only a simple majority to pass in the Senate, rather than the 60 votes generally required due to the legislative filibuster rule, and would not necessarily require any Republican support, given the current makeup of the upper chamber.

Progressive Democrats have sharply criticized the parliamentarian’s decision, and some have called for the decision to be overturned or for the parliamentarian to be fired. Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview Sunday night with MSNBC that voters are counting on Democrats to pass the $15 minimum wage pay raise, arguing that bold action is needed to push it through.

“I do believe we should override the parliamentarian. I think that this is a matter of course and that constituents and people across this country put Democrats in power to, among many other things, establish a $15 minimum wage. We have a responsibility to do that,” she said.

As The Hill explained, Ocasio-Cortez also responded to Sen. Joe Manchin’s comments (W.Va.), a moderate Democrat, who has said he would not vote for a $15 minimum wage increase and that $11 would be more appropriate for his state.

“His own constituents believe in a $15 minimum wage,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “In almost every pocket of this country, you cannot afford rent if you are making minimum wage. And in America, if you are working a full-time job, you should be able to afford to live.”