Speaker of the House (and lead Democrat) Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) fired back at her new colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wednesday, openly criticizing Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative masterpiece, the “Green New Deal.”
Pelosi has been coy about her support for the GND (or lack thereof), calling the plan “enthusiastic” when it first debuted earlier in February, and has regularly distanced herself from Ocasio-Cortez — and she hasn’t tabled the Green New Deal for a vote, leaving it effectively dead as an answer to “climate change.”
This week, though, Pelosi unleashed her characteristic subtle criticism on Ocasio-Cortez and her partner in the Green New Deal, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), in an interview with a reporter from “Rolling Stone” magazine, who asked her why she had yet to allow House Democrats to dicuss the plan openly.
“The Green New Deal,” Pelosi said, goes “beyond our charge.” and “is not what we hope to achieve.”
“Now, in terms of the Green New Deal [as conceived], that goes beyond what our charge is. Our charge is about saving the planet,” Pelosi told RS. “They have in there things like single-payer and … what is it? Guaranteed income?”
An aide quickly added, “Guaranteed income, and then a jobs guarantee.”
“And then they have, I don’t know if it’s single-payer or Medicare for All,” Pelosi continued. “It’s kind of, like, a broader agenda. All good values, but nonetheless, not what we hope to achieve with this focused, determined, decision-making: You’re either for the planet or you are not. There is no ‘plan B’ for the planet. We have to preserve it, and it is in great jeopardy.”
Indeed, the Green New Deal contains a universal health care program, a universal guaranteed income for those unable and “unwilling” to work, guaranteed jobs for those Americans still deluded enough to seek gainful employment, a healthy food program, and a guaranteed “living wage,” among its promises — and that’s in addition to the plan’s complete restructuring of the American economic system, as well as its promise to replace air travel with high speed rails, eliminate the nation’s entire population of livestock, and reconfigure every last structure in the nation to comply with modern environmental regulations.
The full program would cost an estimated $100 trillion to implement.
But all that is abundantly clear to top Democrats. Pelosi’s comments are her nicest way of saying the Green New Deal is an unqualified mess, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shouldn’t plan on giving lofty speeches promoting the bill on the House floor anytime soon.
Her comments are only the latest in a series of underhanded insults that she’s lobbed against the up-and-coming progressive Democrat from New York. When Ocasio-Cortez first unveiled the landmark legislation, Pelosi told reporters that, “Frankly, I haven’t seen it, but I do know it’s enthusiastic, and I welcome all the enthusiasm,” instead of endorsing the bill outright, like some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates did.
But it’s not as if Ocasio-Cortez is desperate to win Pelosi’s favor. Back in December, Ocasio-Cortez’s first order of business on the Hill was to attend and encourage an “environmental justice” sit-in taking place in Pelosi’s office, in an effort to urge the Speaker to champion more comprehensive environmental reforms. And as far as Ocasio-Cortez is concerned, if you don’t like her proposals, it’s up to you to come up with something better.