Sending Office: Honorable Adam Smith
Become a Cosponsor of the House Intern Pay Act of 2019
Current Cosponsors (47): Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Ed Case, Rep. Chuy Garcia,
Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Donald Beyer Jr., Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Rep. Anthony Brown, Rep. Gilbert Cisneros, Rep. Terri Sewell, Rep. David Trone, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick,
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Rep.Chrissy Houlahan, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Mary Scanlon, Rep. Jahana Hayes, Rep. Andy Levin, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Donna Shalala, Rep. Seth Moulton,
Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Gerald Connolly, Rep. Matthew Cartwright, Rep. Linda Sanchez
I invite you to join me in co-sponsoring the House Intern Pay Act in the 116th Congress. This bill permanently authorizes funds to pay interns serving in the congressional offices of House Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner.
Every year, hundreds of students, recent graduates, and others come to Capitol Hill seeking to learn about and serve in Congress. Over the years, countless people have had to begin their careers in unpaid policy and public service internship positions. However,
for many, working and interning without pay is simply not possible. Unpaid internships severely limit opportunities for those who want to serve but who cannot afford to work for free.
In addition to the value that an internship experience affords those who participate, the vast majority of Members of Congress and congressional staffers understand and appreciate how much interns contribute. The support provided by interns to Members and
their staffs—including constituent interaction and support, research and writing, district services, office operations, and in many other areas—is often critical to the smooth functioning of House offices. This is work that should be compensated.
Fortunately, Section 120 of the Legislative Branch Appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2019 provides $20,000 per year to pay an intern in each House Member’s Washington, DC office. Translating to a wage of approximately $9.62 per hour (for a 40 hour
per week intern position), it is laudable that the House of Representative has taken this important first step to ensure that congressional interns receive pay for their work.
We must now permanently authorize the intern pay allowance, ensure that interns are paid a sustainable living wage, and allow funds for intern compensation to be used to pay interns in either Members’ DC or district offices. Doing so will help to make congressional
internships an attractive and feasible option for a more diverse pool of applicants.
The House Intern Pay Act will provide a livable wage to at least one intern in each House Members’, Delegates’, and Resident Commissioner’s DC or district congressional office. My legislation permanently authorizes funds for a year-round internship position
in each Member’s office; compensated at a rate of $15 per hour for the first fiscal year of enactment. Each year after, the authorized intern allowance and rate of pay will increase in tandem with increases in the Consumer Price Index. This will help to ensure
that House intern wage remains livable. Lastly, this bill preserves U.S. House and other rules governing internships, ensuring that they remain a vital but temporary waypoint in a public service career.
If you have any questions or if you would like to cosponsor this important legislation, please contact Julian Purdy in my Washington, DC office at
Julian.Purdy@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-8901.
Member of Congress
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