The Atlantic

The High Cost of Free Labor on Capitol Hill

Congress will have to study the effect of this long-standing practice, while renewed attention to the issue is bringing it out of the shadows.
Source: Mark Wilson / Getty

Congress failed to grapple with many, many important issues in this year’s legislative battles. But when lawmakers at last rammed through the $1.3-trillion budget-busting omnibus last month, they did manage to tuck in a little extra something for themselves. Specifically, the agreement included a 9 percent bump in funding for senators’ office expenses (staff, travel, mail, office equipment, etc.).

Now, as senators would be the first to tell you, senators are very important people with a mound of very important responsibilities on their plates. No doubt, they can think of countless pressing needs on which to spend the additional cash. But one scrappy, not-quite-two-year-old nonprofit group, called, has popped up to crusade for a very specific usage: paying congressional interns.

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