Ocasio-Cortez: $15 wage only 'socialist' to those in 'dystopian capitalist nightmare'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said the push for a $15 minimum wage is in response to millions of Americans living in poverty who are struggling or unable to meet basic needs.

"Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is a crazy socialist agenda is living in a dystopian capitalist nightmare," Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday evening on MSNBC. "People are sleeping in their cars, they can't afford baby formula ... it is deeply, deeply shameful that we are even having this conversation."

Ocasio-Cortez also responded to comments made by Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (W.Va.), a moderate Democrat, who has said he would not vote for a minimum wage increase of $15 and that $11 would be more appropriate for his state.

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"His own constituents believe in a $15 minimum wage," Ocasio-Cortez said. "In almost every pocket of this country you cannot afford rent if you are making minimum wage. And in America, if you are working a full-time job, you should be able to afford to live."

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009.

House Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package over the weekend that included a provision to increase the minimum wage to $15, even though the Senate parliamentarian ruled earlier in the week that the wage hike would need to be removed from the measure when it lands in the Senate.

"I think it's important to recognize that in the states Republicans have won, a $15 minimum wage has also passed," Ocasio-Cortez said on Sunday. "It's extremely important to understand this isn't a partisan issue."