AOC Has Plans – A New Green New Deal is reintroduced in Congress: It has less of a chance at enactment in the current Congress than it did in the last one, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, is taking another shot at introducing the ambitious climate change plan.
AOC Is Back With Her Big Idea
The Green New Deal was an ambitious climate change plan that was first introduced in Congress in early 2019 when Donald Trump was still in office, but Democrats had just recaptured the House of Representatives.
The original proposal, as described at the time by the New York Times, “calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. It also aims to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.” The primary sponsors of the bill were Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the House and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Senate.
Nothing resembling the Green New Deal came close to passage during the two years that the Democrats had majorities in both Houses of Congress with President Joe Biden in the White House. However, some climate legislation passed as part of 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act.
This led to speculation that the Green New Deal was more of a “messaging bill,” in the tradition of the Paul Ryan budget than something meant to pass into law in its current form. However, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has forcefully denied that.
AOC Won’t Back Off Green New Deal Just Yet
And now, with Republicans once again in the House majority, the Green New Deal has been introduced again.
But the discussion around it is very different, with AOC and other proponents stating that more legislation is needed to build on climate legislation already passed by the Biden Administration.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez discussed the legislation in her interview over the weekend with MSNBC host Jen Psaki, the former Biden White House press secretary.
“You just reintroduced the Green New Deal,” Psaki asked AOC. “When you talk about big, expensive new programs, that’s where you sometimes hit resistance, I think. How do you convince those people, people who believe climate change is real, it is a crisis, but they’re concerned that some of these proposed solutions are too grand?”
“It is important to acknowledge that the scale and the scope of what we are proposing is massive, but the scale and the scope of the climate crisis is even bigger,” Ocasio-Cortez responded to the host. “If we are not proactive about very aggressively and transformationally addressing our infrastructure, our workforce, our preparation for the climate crisis, then the costs of not addressing it are going to be far greater.”
AOC went on to say that the “core tenets” of the Green New Deal were “reflected” in the Inflation Reduction Act passed into law last year.
A guide on the Congresswoman’s website, in fact, is titled “Delivering a Green New Deal: How the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Help Bring the Green New Deal to Life.” She also denied, in the MSNBC interview, that the legislation, if passed, would cost farmers their livelihood.
The most important thing to note about the Green New Deal is that it will not pass in the current Congress, especially after it didn’t pass or even come to the floor in the last one. Furthermore, House Republicans are reportedly seeking to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act as part of the debt ceiling talks. However, whether they have the votes to do so is uncertain.
As noted by Politico, the green energy aspects of the IRA are creating jobs in Republican districts, which may lead their GOP representations to resist taking those away. Even Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has praised the expansion of a solar panel production company in her district- something made possible by legislation that Greene voted against.
AOC is also facing an ethics investigation, first announced last year, which appears to concern her attendance at the Met Gala event in 2021. The current status of the investigation is unknown.
Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.