February 21, 2019

Pelosi stops short of endorsing Green New Deal

07 February 2019, 11:22 | Dale Webster

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

Sunrise Movement. Shutterstock

They're tackling the investigative piece. It is nonbindng resolution that defines the climate change problem and outlines the scope of potential solutions, not a bill to change law, she acknowledged.

Ocasio-Cortez said she will immediately begin to work on legislation that would "fully flesh out the projects involved in the Green New Deal".

An outline of the proposal, backed by dozens of congressional lawmakers and the climate change activist group Sunrise Movement, was released early Thursday by Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, Democrat from MA. Many of those new federal employees would presumably assist in the 14 major clean-energy-infrastructure projects the plan calls for. On Thursday morning, Pelosi announced a new committee that she'd established. The main goal of the Green New Deal is to remodel the US economy and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

While the resolution does not get into detailed policy proposals, possibly fueling Pelosi's skepticism about what the nuts and bolts of the plan actually are, it does lay out the aims of the plan.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday "there's lots of excitement" over the select committee but noted that any legislative effort "would be a Congress-wide initiative".

"Nancy Pelosi is a leader on climate, has been a leader on climate", Ocasio-Cortez said, noting she will not allow the Democratic Caucus to be divided over this issue.

The panel, which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it, will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures, including three freshmen. That includes the ability to subpoena witnesses and advance legislation.

Greg Carlock, a climate researcher with Data for Progress who helped author the Green New Deal, said lawmakers who seek middle ground policies on global warming risk losing youth support in future elections. Pelosi said Wednesday, however, the panel would not be tasked with writing a specific bill, and brushed off the idea of the Green New Deal as a "suggestion". She appealed to some of the more progressive members with her speech after retaking the speaker's gavel, saying "we must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis".

Labor unions would receive a large slice of the pie: the resolutions would ensure "high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages", strengthen union collective-bargaining rights, and guarantee "a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States". "Quite frankly I haven't seen it, but I do know it's enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiasms that are out there". It cites John F. Kennedy's space program pledge to reach the moon in ten years, but it's written as "When JFK said we'd go to the by the end of the decade".

Ocasio-Cortez said she was not offended that Pelosi called the resolution "the green dream".

The proposal also calls for moving away from nuclear power, according to a fact sheet on the plan distributed by Ocasio-Cortez's office, which some climate activists favor as a carbon-free energy source.

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