Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) reintroduced the Green New Deal on Tuesday, nearly two years after it was surfaced by progressive Democrats and used as the centerpiece of Republican attacks against far-Left colleagues.
The resolution is a part of a larger proposal with multiple bills, which is expected to be unveiled this week.
“For so long, our movement towards a sustainable future has been divided with really just this false notion that we have to choose between our planet and our economy,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a press conference.
“We decided to come together in sweeping legislation that not only rejects that notion, but creates a plan for 20 million union jobs in the United States of America, to rebuild our infrastructure, to restore public housing, to make sure that we expand our access not only to EV [electric vehicle] and EV infrastructure but mass transit,” she added. “It is going to be an all hands on deck approach and we refuse to leave any community behind in the process.”
The original Green New Deal resolution set an ambitious goal of the U.S. taking on a “leading role” in pushing the planet to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. But to reach that goal, the proposal called for the U.S. to transition away from fossil fuels and pivot the focus to building green energy jobs.
The proposal was fiercely rejected by Republicans in the then GOP-controlled Senate, and Republicans are displeased that it’s been reintroduced.
“The green new disaster is back,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. “The Green New Deal isn’t about protecting the environment. It’s about massively increasing the size of government and dictating how Americans live their lives.”
The Green New Deal’s goals are to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, pump federal funds into infrastructure, promote justice and equity for historically marginalized communities and secure clean air and water.
President Joe Biden hasn’t explicitly indicated whether he would stand behind the proposal, though he did refer to it as “crucial framework” on the presidential campaign trail.
“It’s possible to find middle ground in many areas of politics. I know because I’ve done it. But we cannot compromise now,” Markey said. “We cannot compromise on the fate of our planet and on human civilization.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Markey also introduced the Civilian Climate Corps Act that would create jobs and aid the environment. Biden has previously supported the idea, noting the bill should exist “to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs.”
Although the duo has received some support for certain components of the Green New Deal, the measure is unlikely to pass on Capitol Hill, as several moderate Democrats have balked at the bill. And Democrats would only be able to afford losing a handful of votes if they want the bill to have a chance of reaching the president’s desk.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.