U.S. Senate rejects Green New Deal, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ‘encouraged’

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WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘encouraged’ despite Senate rejecting ‘Green New Deal’

U.S. Representative Alexandria OcasioCortez said on Friday she was “very encouraged” by the Senate vote this week on the “Green New Deal,” the sweeping climate policy resolution she introduced last month, even though the Senate defeated it.

The non-binding resolution, which proposes to eliminate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions within a decade, lost 57-0 in the Senate, with 43 Democrats voting “present.”

“You had the Republicans voting ‘no’ and you had virtually the entire Democratic caucus voting ‘present,’ even those in tough states,” OcasioCortez said on Friday. “That is an extraordinary amount of unity within the Senate to actually vote in that cohesive of a bloc, so I’m very encouraged.”

OcasioCortez shrugged off Republicans’ insults on Friday at a town hall hosted by MSNBC in her district in The Bronx.

“I didn’t expect them to make total fools of themselves,” she said of her critics. MORE

 

Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is dividing Congress


In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) waves to the crowd after speaking in New York. To Democratic supporters, the Green New Deal is a touchstone, a call to arms to combat climate change. To Republican opponents, it’s zealous environmentalism, a roadmap to national bankruptcy. Lost in the clamor is the reality that, if passed, the much-hyped Green New Deal would require the government to do absolutely nothing. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

WASHINGTON — To Democratic supporters, the Green New Deal is a touchstone, a call to arms to combat climate change with the full measure of the nation’s resources and technological might. “A mission to save all of creation,” in the words of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, one the plan’s lead authors.

To Republican opponents, the much-hyped plan is a dystopian nightmare, a roadmap to national bankruptcy in pursuit of zealous environmentalism. “A big green bomb” for the economy, says Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming.

Lost in the clamor is the reality that, if passed, the Green New Deal would require the government to do absolutely nothing. It exists only as a nonbinding resolution because Democrats have yet to fill in the potentially treacherous details of how to pay for the Green New Deal, how to carry it out and what, exactly, it will do.

Announced to great fanfare in February, the Green New Deal calls for a “10-year national mobilization” on the scale of the original New Deal to shift the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power. It calls for meeting “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” including nuclear power.

The plan has broad support among Democratic activists, and all six of the 2020 presidential contenders serving in the Senate have signed on as co-sponsors, putting it at the forefront of the party’s sprawling primary race.

Republicans have mocked the Green New Deal as a progressive pipedream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase. They call it more evidence of the creep of “socialism” in the Democratic Party, along with “Medicare for All” and a sweeping elections reform package that would allow public financing of congressional campaigns. MORE

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Republicans are the real threat to hamburgers, not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

GOP climate inaction will drive megadroughts that make beef a scarce commodity.

CLIMATE CHANGE-FUELED DROUGHTS ARE A MUCH BIGGER THREAT TO CATTLE THAN THE GREEN NEW DEAL. (CREDIT: SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES)

One of the most common Republican attack lines since the Green New Deal resolution was introduced last month is that Democrats, namely Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), “want to take away your hamburgers.”

In the past week, Republican House members have staged a press conference during which they ate hamburgers in front of the U.S. Capitol. Republican senators have quipped, “maybe the chicken caucus is in favor of getting rid of cows.” And right-wing media outlets have run pun-filled headlines, like the Washington Times,’ “Sizzling anti-burger narrative puts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal in a pickle.”

But the truth is, the real threat to hamburgers — and to food supplies in general — is Republican inaction on climate change.

The overheated, drought-riddled world their policies are driving us toward will be devastating to cattle. Red meat will become a scarce commodity — as it did during the severe drought in Texas earlier this decade. MORE

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Coming for Your Hamburgers!

Ocasio-Cortez upset a veteran of her own party in a primary race, and came to office as an unabashed idealist. Mocking her has been a constant on the right ever since. Photograph by Mark Peterson / Redux for The New Yorker
Sebastian Gorka, late of the Trump Administration, stood before the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference last week and made plain the inner frenzy of a party that must place its hopes for 2020 on a President who had just been described before a congressional committee as “a racist,” “a con man,” and “a cheat.” Hence the rhetorical smoke bombs. Wild-eyed Democrats are coming! Gorka declared, “They want to take your pickup truck! They want to rebuild your home! They want to take away your hamburgers! This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved!”
The focus of this fear campaign, the nexus of all danger, is a member of Congress who has been in office for two months: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, at twenty-nine, represents parts of the Bronx and Queens. With Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, she is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Because she questions our habits of fossil-fuel consumption and industrial agriculture, her opponents reason, she can’t possibly be trying to head off global catastrophe. She just wants to steal your Chevy Colorado and your Big Mac.

“Apparently, I am a cow dictator,” Ocasio-Cortez told me. “What’s humorous to me is that we’re finally proposing a clear, ambitious, but necessary and grounded policy on the scale of the problem. And so it’s hard for the Republicans to refute the actual policy on its substance. They resort to mythologizing it on a ludicrous level. Ted Cruz says we want to ‘kill all the cows.’ How far have we slid in our discourse? But that’s what half our political representation is up to.”

“It feels like an extra job,” she said of the attacks. “I’ve got a full-time job in Congress and then I moonlight as America’s greatest villain, or as the new hope. And it’s pretty tiring. I’m just a normal person. I knew that I was not going to be liked. I’m a Democrat. I’m a woman. I’m a young woman. A Latina. And I’m a liberal, a D.S.A. member,” she said, referring to the Democratic Socialists of America. “I believe health care is a right and people should be paid enough to live. Those are offensive values to them. But this ravenous hysteria—it’s really getting to a level that is kind of out of control. It’s dangerous and even scary. I have days when it seems some people want to stoke just enough of it to have just enough plausible deniability if something happens to me.” MORE