Tlaib Calls for $20 Minimum Wage, Offers $15 Internships

Told Detroit voters 'it should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 at this point'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) / Getty Images
July 25, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) has called for a $20 federal minimum wage, but the freshman representative's congressional office offers applications for $15 per hour internship positions.

Twitter user Taylor Mason noted the inconsistency when he tweeted a screenshot of a job listing from the online job search site Daybook. That listing, posted Wednesday, offers an internship position at Tlaib's congressional office in D.C., paying $15 per hour. According to the listing, intern duties include communicating and working with constituents, "researching topics" for staff members, "office communications support," "policy research and assisting staff with administrative tasks."

On Sunday, Tlaib told a crowd at an event in Detroit that she believes the minimum wage should now be $20, citing rising costs in food products such as milk and eggs. Her comments came days after the House voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 over six years.

"By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15. Now I think it should be $20," Tlaib said.

"It should be $20 an hour, $18 to $20 at this point," she continued.

Though the pay offered to interns at Tlaib's office does not meet the congresswoman's own standard for a living wage as expressed in her speech Sunday, Tlaib has in the past conveyed interest in offering interns higher compensation. Tlaib co-sponsors a House bill to provide an allowance for House offices to pay interns, which requires a minimum compensation rate of $15 per hour.

Fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) drew national press scrutiny last week, when the presidential candidate's campaign workers alleged that Sanders was not living up to his own generous minimum wage proposals by failing to offer higher pay to his field staff.