Ocasio-Cortez just dared her colleagues to practice what they preach with brilliant shutdown solution

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As the youngest member of the incoming Congress, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is already shaking things up at the tradition-bound body with her outspoken tweets expressing populist progressive views about how the excessive privileges that our elected officials have granted to themselves in the past should be revoked to make them less insulated from the consequences of the legislation that they pass.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a proposal this morning that all of the now furloughed government employees — forced to go without paychecks over the Christmas holiday due to President Trump’s peevish refusal to compromise on funding for his ineffective anti-immigration strategy — will surely support.

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The avowed Democratic Socialist congresswoman’s calls for integrity from her fellow legislators is a rare example of a representative demonstrating the intestinal fortitude to urge legislation that would be contrary to their own personal interest.

Ocasio-Cortez’s support for an idea that erupts into public outrage every time legislative impasses cause the federal government to cease operations is particularly courageous given that the young first-time elected official does not have the personal financial resources to weather an extended period without a paycheck, unlike many of her wealthy congressional colleagues.

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She has notably worried about how she could survive financially during the period between her election and her first paycheck from her new job after giving up the bartending gig at which she had been previously earning her living.

“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times in an interview.

She gave further details of her working-class background in a tweet shortly after she was elected.

The fact that she was so recently part of the enormous number of people struggling to afford basic necessities also inspired Ocasio-Cortez to take Congress to task for exploiting its large underclass of overworked and underpaid staffers, interns, and aides by paying them less than living wages.

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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t even officially been sworn in, and she’s already shaking up Congress in ways unprecedented in the hide-bound body.

Let’s hope her voice continues to shame her colleagues into ending their self-serving elitist practices and live by the same rules that their legislation or, in this case, their inability to maintain government operations, imposes on the rest of the American public.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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