Ocasio-Cortez tells reporter ‘gotta run’ when asked about shutdown paycheck

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New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still mum on whether she will follow her own advice to lawmakers to "have some integrity" and give up their salary during the government shutdown.

"I’ve gotta run," the Democratic Socialist told the New York Post on Thursday after being asked about her salary, rushing for a mock swearing-in with newly elected House Speak Nancy Pelosi.


The questions follow Ocasio-Cortez’ comments on social media during the early days of the shutdown, urging members of Congress to give up their salaries during the government shutdown just like federal workers.

"Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well," she wrote in a tweet in December. "It's completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision."

"Have some integrity," she added.

She later reiterated her position, saying “it’s only fair” that members of Congress would lose their paychecks during the shutdown – forcing them to be more responsible.

“Speaking as a working class member-elect, I think it’s only fair. It would also cause members who actually depend on their salary to think twice about leadership and take a shutdown vote more seriously,” she said.


So far it appears that only a couple Democrats followed Ocasio-Cortez calls. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono promised to donate her salary during the shutdown to food banks in her home state – a move she did during the 2013 and 2018 government shutdowns.

“As long as Donald Trump refuses to reopen the government, I will be donating my salary to Hawaii’s food banks—who serve nearly one in eight Hawaii residents in need,” she told Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who recently announced her presidential exploratory committee, pledged to donate her salary to a Jewish charity.

“Over 7,000 people in Massachusetts have been sent home or are working without pay during the #TrumpShutdown,” she wrote. “Until @realDonaldTrump re-opens the government, I'm donating my salary to @HIASrefugees, a nonprofit that helps refugees and makes our country stronger in the process.”

Ocasio-Cortez was formally sworn into Congress on Thursday. She begins earning $174,000 a year.