March 26, 2019

AOC Takes On Washington's Paid Line-Waiting Culture

“It is one of Washington’s more peculiar practices, but most local denizens have long accepted it as a way of life: paying people to wait in line to get prime seats at Capitol Hill hearings.

Line-standing or line-waiting is a small but visible example of how money affects politics in D.C. — how people with resources are able to buy access to lawmakers as they deliberate legislation. The practice, which is expensive but not illegal, has long been a popular one for lobbyists.

Enter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is experiencing life as a legislator in Washington for the first time — and blasting her often-critical reactions to her constituents and the world on social media along the way.

On Tuesday, she had just left a hearing on homelessness when she saw people queued in the hallway of the Rayburn House Office Building, waiting in line for a Committee on Financial Services meeting on banking and the marijuana industry, she wrote on social media. Her staff told her they were line-waiters.”

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