intern pay

What’s the state of play on intern pay on Capitol Hill?
Intern compensation funding is up for discussion again

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., says he expects intern compensation funding to continue in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Securing intern compensation funding last year was a huge victory for lawmakers and advocates. Now they just have to figure out how to get the word out and expand the pie. 

As interns descend on Capitol Hill for a summer of public service, more will be paid for their work than ever before. But widespread paid internships are still in their infancy in Congress. This is the first summer that House and Senate offices have dedicated funding available to cut checks.

$15 an hour ‘living wage’ for interns in district offices and Capitol Hill introduced in House
The bill would permanently authorize funding, which could also be used in district offices

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced a proposal to pay House interns $15 per hour. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Forty House lawmakers are calling for a “living wage” for House interns, and an expansion of where funds set aside to pay interns can be used — including in district offices.

The proposal was introduced last week by Washington Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith. It would permanently authorize funding to pay interns an allowance, and it would permit offices to use intern compensation funds to pay them in district offices.

Low Pay (or No Pay) on Capitol Hill Hits Two New York Democrats
Chuck Schumer and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez faced two sides of the issue

New York Democrats Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faced realities of low pay and unpaid work on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12/7/18 at 9:17 a.m. |  New York Democrats faced intern and staff pay issues on Capitol Hill when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer posted an unpaid internship opening and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio Cortez talked with staffers moonlighting at a D.C. dive to make ends meet.

Schumer’s office posted an unpaid internship opening on the official site for Senate job opportunities that quickly drew criticism on Twitter.