Sanders Continues to Not Pay His Interns a Living Wage

Bernie Sanders / Getty
June 20, 2017

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has been a vocal advocate for the United States raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, but he is unwilling to pay his interns the same amount.

Back in April, Democrats united behind Sanders' legislation that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour. On his campaign website, Sanders claims too many Americans are being paid "inadequate" wages.

"Millions of Americans are working for totally inadequate wages. We must ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty," Sanders' website reads. "The current federal minimum wage is starvation pay and must become a living wage. We must increase it to $15 an hour over the next several years."

It appears that Sanders does not practice what he preaches.

In a Tuesday tweet, Sanders promoted his Senate office's internship program.

Sanders' office describes its interns as an "integral" part of the office.

Interns are an integral part of our Senate operation and contribute greatly to the senator's work on behalf of Vermont and the nation. Senate interns have the unique privilege of gaining an insider's perspective on the legislative and representative process. Our Washington and Burlington offices offer paid full- and part-time internships tailored for recent graduates and current students at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Interns for Sanders could work 40 hours a week and still be "living in poverty," only earning $12 per hour. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders chided Hillary Clinton for her plan to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

"You have no disposable income when you are making 10, 12 bucks an hour," Sanders said in a debate with Clinton.

This is not the first time Sanders has refused to pay interns a "living wage." The Washington Free Beacon reported back in June 2016 that Sanders paid his interns less than $15 per hour.