- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dismissed criticism over her pricey trip to a beauty salon last month as pure envy, suggesting people are jealous over how good she looks while championing progressive policies.

The freshman New York Democrat said Thursday the Washington press should be covering more important issues than her latest visit to a downtown salon to refresh her locks, citing healthcare costs, poverty and “extreme inequality.”

“40 million Americans live in poverty under today’s extreme inequality, yet the right-wing want you to blame Democratic socialism for their own moral failures. Our policies, like Medicare for All, advance prosperity for working people,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“They’re just mad we look good doing it,” she added.

Her comments come after The Washington Times reported Wednesday that she spent nearly $300 on a hairdo at a salon she frequents, despite railing against the rich and complaining about the cost of living inside the Beltway.



The New York Democrat, whose district includes areas in the Bronx and Queens, ventured into Last Tangle Salon on 19th Street Northwest last month and shelled out $80 for a haircut and $180 for lowlights, according to sources familiar with the salon. A 20% tip would have added $52 to the bill.

Her stylist did not respond to a request for comment about the tip.

The lawmaker said the paper should look into Vice President Mike Pence’s stay at Trump Organization properties instead of her hair.

Democrats have said the administration violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from receiving gifts and profiting from foreign governments. Two House committees have started investigations into the stay.

After her visit to Last Tangle Salon, a staff member talked about the lawmaker as if she were a TV superstar, saying “AOC” was extremely nice and even took several selfies with patrons.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez could have saved roughly $100 for the same hairstyle at the government-subsidized Capitol Hill barbershop.

At Senate Hair Care Services, open to members of Congress and the public, a men’s cut runs about $20, though men’s haircuts there and everywhere else are cheaper than women’s. A woman’s cut there runs about $50.

The lawmaker could have saved money on the same services by visiting highly reviewed salons in her own district in the Bronx.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s expensive style stands in stark contrast to that of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama who is a regular customer at the barbershop in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building.

But she has plenty of company in the hair club for extravagant politicians.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, once spent $100 on a haircut.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, splurged $600 on a hairdo during the campaign, prompting Vanity Fair to ask in a headline: “Is $600 too much for a haircut?”

Former Sen. John Edwards, who ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was the 2004 vice presidential nominee, was known to pay more than $500 to his hairstylist. President Bill Clinton’s $200 haircut in 1993 at Los Angeles International Airport made headlines when two of the airport’s runways had to be shut down for nearly an hour.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who makes a salary of $174,000 a year, once argued that the congressional salary was too low and that higher pay would discourage corruption.

“Members are paid more than average — but the job requires 2 residences and we can’t take tax deductions for work costs,” she tweeted at the time. “No one wants to be the one to bring up increases, so instead people take advantage of insider trading loopholes & don’t close them for the extra cash.”

She also has complained about the cost of living in Washington, though she lives in a luxury apartment building in the trendy Navy Yard neighborhood, where rent for a no-frills studio apartment starts at $2,000 a month.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.

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