Democrats push for a Green New Deal to combat climate change

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Alma Adams react at House Democrats news conferenceon Capitol Hill in Washington

Ocasio-Cortez Seeks More Co-Sponsors As the Introduction of Green New Deal Legislation Approaches

Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being criticized by conservatives after she outlined the goals of a "Green New Deal" to combat climate change.

The resolution is not expected to pass Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself has suggested the Green New Deal is more of a suggestion rather than a concrete part of the Democratic Party's legislative agenda.

Pelosi's reluctance to offer a full-throated endorsement of the Green New Deal makes a certain amount of political sense; for every progressive congressperson like Ocasio-Cortez, there are also more moderate Democrats who need to hold their seats in districts that voted for President Donald Trump or, at the very least, could conceivably flip to Republican in the next election cycle. With media-savvy champions like rookie lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alongside Senator Ed Markey, who proposed legislation with similar goals a decade ago, it could force politicians to grapple with the details, just as Senator Bernie Sanders did with his proposal for universal healthcare.

Pelosi said Thursday she hadn't seen the Green New Deal proposal but welcomes "the enthusiasm" of its backers. She said she also wants to hear from the new climate committee, which she said will "spearhead Democrats" work' on climate issues.

Climate change is a passionate cause for Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez is not on the panel.

Ocasio-Cortez's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We're here to say that an agency like ICE, which repeatedly and systematically violates human rights, does not deserve a dime", she added.

"I will not give one dollar to a secretary who does not care about her life and does not care to investigate a child's death", she said to applause.

"The Green New Deal seems a lot more like a Green Leap Forward", quipped journalist Jack Posobiec, referring to China's 1958-62 policy of rapid industrialization and collectivization - and the resulting starvation that claimed between 18 and 55 million lives, depending on estimates.

"Mother Nature has awakened so many Americans to the urgent threat of the climate crisis, and this proposal responds to the growing concern and demand for action", he said.

But Ocasio-Cortez didn't seem to mind Pelosi's remarks on her flagship climate change proposal, much less calling it by the wrong name. It's aimed a transforming the American economy by ending its dependence on fossil fuels, investing heavily in renewable energy like solar and wind and sparking large-scale job-creation.

The freshman lawmaker is teaming up with veteran Sen.

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Elizabeth Warren of MA; and Cory Booker of New Jersey have also broadly endorsed the idea behind the Green New Deal. Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate are likely to oppose this one, too.

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