Paid Capitol Hill Interns: WISH Applauds President Trump & U.S. Congress for Enacting $147 Billion Minibus Bill into Law
Late last week, a $147 billion minibus bill was signed by President Donald Trump into law. His signature came quickly after the House of Representatives passed their appropriations package that included a provision for congressional intern pay. The House 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 vote followed a day after the Senate passed a similar package, which includes a provision allowing $8.8 million for pay to House interns and $5 million for those in the Senate.
Before passage, internships on the Hill were over 90 percent unpaid, which has been unsustainable. Students are paying for classes, and living in DC, and working unpaid for over 32 hours a week. Additional expenses for food and living expenses in DC, as well as housing is all on the students and their families. These are the same students that often are working a part time job at home to help get through school and are on loans.
Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) founder Jacqueline Lewis applauded President Trump and Congress for funding internships, “Without a paid internship, students cannot make it to DC for a life changing internship: Housing, meals, and transportation are difficult to sustain when working as an unpaid Congressional intern,” said Lewis. “Now more students can afford coming to DC for more work experience on the front lines to develop their professional skills. Educators have advocated for paid congressional internships for a long time, and I’m pleased to see the bill pass and signed into law. Interns truly keep our democracy working,” Lewis remarked.
Once the law goes into effect, the Senate would average about $50,000 per office. In the House, lawmakers would see an additional $20,000 to pay their interns.
In a 2015 study with Hart Research Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 60 percent of employers said they would be more likely to consider a candidate for a full-time job, if they had completed an internship.
Lewis concluded, “Having a paid internship opens doors to students who do not have parents who can foot the bill. This new budget will go a long way in helping a Capitol Hill college intern afford a semester in Washington DC, one of the most expensive cities in the world.”
For over 25 years, WISH has been the leading intern housing and residential life services provider in Washington DC. WISH works with Colleges and Universities around the world to provide thousands of DC interns student housing for the terms needed whether it be fall, spring, summer or all year. Faculty housing, classrooms, conference rooms, and reception room are all available for WISH residents’ needs. For more information go to http://atdevserver.com/Projects/Internsdc.