WASHINGTON — Turns out, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a frugal socialist.

The freshman Democrat spent the least amount of money of the 27 New York House members during the first three months of 2019, according to newly released spending reports of congressional offices reviewed by The Post.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/Bronx) spent $199,198 on staff salaries, travel, rent for her district office and other office supplies.

Meanwhile, the top spender in the New York delegation was Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the No. 5 Democrat in the House.

His office expenses totaled $341,585 for the first quarter of the year.

Another freshman member, Rep. Antonio Delgado of the Hudson Valley, spent $223,602 this quarter.

Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman Corbin Trent said the lean budget was by design.

“There’s no question,” he told The Post. “We squeeze the most out of every dime or dollar for sure.”

Ociasio-Cortez had an advantage in that she’s only paying rent for one district office.

Among the 27 members from New York, eight have just one office outside DC, while the rest of the delegation has between two and four.

Ocasio-Cortez caught flak for being the only new New York House member not to have a district office in place weeks after she assumed her duties. She now has one in Queens.

Trent said Ocasio-Cortez still plans to open a second office in the Bronx.

The bigger savings comes from Ocasio-Cortez’s staff pay.

While Jeffries spent about $9,000 more on rent, communications and utilities than Ocasio-Cortez this quarter, he spent almost $90,000 more on salaries.

Ocasio-Cortez has 13 staffers and two paid interns listed on her first-quarter filings.

House offices can have up to 18 full-time employees and four part-time employees on the payroll at any time.

Trent said the congresswoman does plan to get up to the 18. “We’re continuing to hire really capable, quality people,” he said.

But while Jeffries’ chief of staff will make around $132,000 this year, AOC’s is on track to make just above $50,000.

She’s pledged that her aides will all make more than $52,000 a year and has said nobody on staff will make more than $80,000. Right now, her highest-earning staffers will take in about $65,000 this year.

Only one-quarter of a congressional aide’s annual salary is shown on these reports and staffers are often awarded bonuses at the end of the year.

The average freshman member of the House spends $1,127,537 in his or her first year, according to the 2018 edition of “Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide,” a resource produced by the Congressional Management Foundation.

While members could be on the hook for going over budget, offices that come in under don’t necessarily save taxpayers money. Instead those funds go to other members.

Source link