Green New Deal is dealt
Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, flanked by more than a dozen other lawmakers, introduced their Green New Deal resolution today, the first step in the legislative process toward a full overhaul of the economy, aimed at staving off increasingly apocalyptic climate scenarios.
Earlier that day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it, in a Politico interview, “the Green Dream or whatever,” and mocked its advocates for supporting a broad vision that doesn’t yet have its component parts fleshed out. AOC was asked repeatedly at a press conference today about Pelosi’s dig, but refused to engage, calling Pelosi a climate champion and adopting “dream” as a compliment.
(Here’s some journalistic kremlinology: If you notice, Politico didn’t put that remark in the headline or in the top of the story, which suggests that the reporters didn’t interpret it as a direct assault on the Green New Deal, but more of a typically inscrutable Pelosi aside. Had they read it as a full-on blast, they’d have happily played it up more.)
It was an unusual remark from Pelosi, who spent an extraordinary amount of political capital in 2009-2010 to pass climate change legislation, then called Waxman-Markey. Of course, it’s not the fault of Ocasio-Cortez or the young people in the Sunrise Movement that Congress doesn’t have fleshed out legislation for them to argue over, and that the process is starting essentially from scratch. And my read of her remark is that she was aiming some criticism at the johnny-come-lately 2020 candidates who have all eagerly signed up to support the Green New Deal with something of a check-the-box attitude that doesn’t get the world closer to saving itself.
Pelosi praised the effort at her own press conference today. “We welcome the enthusiasm that is there. The Green New Deal points out the fact that the public is much more aware of the challenge that we face, and that is a good thing, because the public sentiment will help us pass the most bold common denominator, the bold initiatives, with the interest in, again, saving the planet while we create jobs, protect the health of our children and pass the planet on in a very serious way,” she said. “I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals that people have out there.”
Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed on Morning Edition today and when asked how to pay for a Green New Deal, talked about decoupling the concepts of tax revenue and government spending, which is the cornerstone of Modern Monetary Theory. Amazing to hear that on NPR. Not sure Steve Inskeep quite got it; it could take a little while to sink in.
I asked Markey if the Senate might use budget reconciliation -- which requires a simple majority, rather than 60 votes -- to pass a Green New Deal and he said that “all legislative options are on the table.” Here’s our story on the announcement, and what’s in it, by Kate Aronoff.
HR1 got its first hearing yesterday. That’s the bill to clean up elections and provide public matching funds to candidates to try to get big money out. Watching Republicans try to figure out how to oppose that without sounding crazy was fun. Here’s Akela Lacy on that.
Kamala Harris, in her first race for San Francisco district attorney, ran as tough on crime, knocking off the nation’s most progressive prosecutor. Lee Fang takes a closer look at that race to see what we can glean about what kind of a president Harris would be.