This week, as part of a coalition led by Pay Our Interns, we sent a letter to leadership of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch asking them to include at least $7 million in dedicated funding to compensate Senate committee interns.
Ensuring Senate committee interns can get paid removes personal wealth as a precondition for public service. That’s important for Senate committees to foster a more inclusive and diverse internship program that attracts individuals from different socioeconomic backgrounds, not just those of means who can afford to live in one of the most expensive US cities while not getting paid. Ultimately, this will improve the Senate’s ability to recruit interns into the congressional staff pipeline who better reflect the diversity of America.
Besides that, while the House currently has such a policy, the disparity between the two chambers can cause confusion to prospective interns. Imagine you were choosing an internship on the Hill — would you aim for the one you know has dedicated funding in the House or take your chances on a Senate committee that may or may not have a budget to pay you?
Dedicated funding enables Senate committees to set clear objectives, establish structured programs separate from the personal office funding, and provide necessary resources and support for interns.
Read the letter here.