2018 Congress allotted $13.8 millionMembers can break the long-standing tradition practice of not paying congressional interns. Since then, an analysis from earlier this year indicates that over 90 percent of Congress members began paying at least one of their interns — but conservative Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer didn’t follow the trend.
The weekend was a busy one for the New Jersey lawmaker promoted a job postingHis office will provide a spring internship. The intern would work 45 hours per week while Congress is in session and 40 hours per week when it isn’t, with unspecified accommodations for class hours. According to the posting, the intern’s responsibilities would include busy work like responding to phone calls and letters, as well as running errands. They would be required to attend hearings as well as research legislation.
As compensation for this supposedly vital work, the student intern — required to live in Washington, D.C. — would receive “invaluable work experience” but no pay, according to the posting.
Many congressional offices offer compensation for interns due to the fact that they have specific funding. often incredibly paltry. House members receive $25,000 to pay their interns. However, many offices have multiple interns at once. According to Pay Our InternsThe House’s average stipend was $1,613 in 2018.
Even House members like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–California), can participate. have recognizedThis is not enough pay. This is a result of budget cutsThe pot for congressional staff salaries is very low, creating inequalities in who can get a job in Congress.
Even before Congress allocated the funds specifically for interns, some members of Congress — like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) — managed to make it work. Now, with money allocated specifically for this purpose, it’s unclear why Gottheimer would choose not to utilize this funding in a departure from the vast majority of his colleagues.
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) November 28, 2021
OpenSecrets estimates Gottheimer’s value at nearly $500,000 $9 million as of 2018 — and even though he refuses to pay his staff, he seems to be looking for ways to boost his own personal wealth constantly.
Gottheimer was a tireless advocate for the lifting of the SALT deduction cap (state and local tax) proposal, which is included in The Build Back Better Act. Some analyses conclude that lifting the SALT cap would provide benefits. Millionaires will get a tax reduction — including Gottheimer, notes the Daily PosterThe proposal could allow him to deduct his federal taxes from more than $10,000 in property taxes.
Gottheimer has been opposed to many proposals that would improve the working class over the past few months. This is similar to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-West Virginia). Gottheimer was part a group of conservative Democrats that waged war on the government earlier this year. The initial pushTo slash and threaten the passage of the reconciliation bill, even though it includes a number social and climate spending plans that other Democrats have hailed vital.