Capitol Hill Intern Pay Measure Advances for Trump’s Signature (1)

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By Tyrone Richardson

The House of Representatives Sept. 13 cleared the final hurdle for President Donald Trump’s signature on an appropriations package that includes a provision for congressional intern pay.

The chamber voted 377-20 for final passage of the $147 billion “minibus” bill, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 5895). The House vote comes a day after the Senate passed the package, which also includes a provision allowing $8.8 million for pay to House interns and $5 million for those in the Senate.

Capitol Hill internships are largely unpaid positions. Supporters of the funding measure say that makes it difficult for many students and younger workers to take the temporary jobs.

Advocates include Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who has said the pay is necessary after hearing about “frustration and stories from interns who are struggling to pay for housing, meals, and transportation while interning without pay on Capitol Hill.”

Similar comments Sept. 13 were shared by Carlos Mark Vera, a former unpaid intern in Congress, who started the Pay Our Interns campaign group.

“By supporting thousands of paid internships, this new funding will give more working-class students and young people of color the chance to work on Capitol Hill and build careers in public service,” he said in a written statement to Bloomberg Law. “For decades, many low-income students have had to pass up the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill. “

Congressional passage moves the legislation to Trump’s desk for signature into law.

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