Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday criticized certain Democrats for failing to support progressive demands for a $15 minimum wage, contending they are living in a “dystopian capitalist nightmare” and adding that the minimum wage should actually be $24 an hour.
The New York lawmaker defended the progressive push for a $15 minimum wage during an appearance on The Mehdi Hasan Show.
“Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is the ‘crazy socialist agenda’ is living in a dystopian capitalist nightmare. And we should not prop that up. We should not continue that,” she said.
“There are basic goods that people can’t afford to live on on $7.25 an hour, she continued, arguing that it is “deeply, deeply shameful” that they are having this conversation in the first place.
“Because when you take the minimum wage from several decades ago and you actually account for inflation and productivity gains to today, it should be $24 an hour,” she continued.
Democrats, she said, must understand “how deep of a compromise $15 an hour is,” noting the multi-year phase-in.
“In the United States of America, you should you know if you are working a full-time job, you should be able to afford to live,” she continued:
Nearly two dozen Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, are calling on President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to demand the addition of a $15 minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal despite the fact that the Senate parliamentarian ruled out the option last week.
In a letter addressed to Biden and Harris, the lawmakers essentially asked the White House to override the decision.
“Eighty-one million people cast their ballots to elect you on a platform that called for a $15 minimum wage,” the lawmakers wrote in the March 1 letter.
“We urge you to keep that promise and call on the Presiding Officer of the Senate to refute the Senate Parliamentarian’s advice on a Byrd Rule point of order and maintain the $15 minimum wage provision in the American Rescue Plan,” they continued.
The lawmakers argued that there is “significant historical precedent” for the move, citing Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey disregarding the parliamentarian’s advice “while pushing to reduce the filibuster threshold from two -thirds of those present to three-fifths” in 1967. He did so again, they said, in 1969.
“Ultimately, Republican Vice President Nelson. D. Rockefeller partnered with future Vice President Walter Mondale and succeeded in 1975 while again refusing the parliamentarian,” they wrote.
“We must act now to prevent tens of millions of hardworking Americans from being underpaid any longer,” they continued.
“The outdated and complex Byrd rule route in restricting progress must not be an impediment to improving people’s lives,” they continued.
“You have the authority to deliver a raise for millions Americans,” they concluded in the letter signed by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and others including Reps. Ilhan Omar (R-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Pramila Jayapal (R-WA):