Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is, without a doubt, one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars.
With 13.2 million followers on Twitter, she appears to carry more grassroots influence than some of the most well-known politicians on the Left — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Despite her popularity with the progressive base, researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia found that in terms of garnering support for and passing legislation, she is one of the least effective lawmakers in Washington.
When one examines her proposals, there is no mystery as to why this is the case.
The Green New Deal
The Green New Deal’s measures extend far beyond the issue of climate. As the American Action Forum details, the plan includes “a 10-year transition to an exclusively low-carbon energy electricity grid” and “enough high-speed rail transit available that air travel becomes unnecessary” — but also slips in leftist policy goals like “union jobs with a family-sustaining wage,” “adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States,” “universal health care,” “guaranteed housing for every American,” and “food security for every person in the United States.”
The legislation would attempt to meet all of the power demand in the United States “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” within the next decade. In order to accomplish ubiquitous green energy usage in such a short time frame, the legislation suggests “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency” and “overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”
Why the short time frame? Because Ocasio-Cortez asserted that the world “is gonna end in twelve years” if Americans do not address climate change. After conservatives called out the absurdity of her statement, however, the lawmaker insisted that she was merely employing “dry humor” and “sarcasm.”
Civilian Climate Corps
More recently, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that Congress build a $70 billion “Civilian Climate Corps.”
Weighing in at 0.075% of the Green New Deal’s size, the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) comparatively seems like a bargain. However, the legislation would employ at least 1.5 million Americans — a population larger than the United States’ total active military force — to “complete federally-funded projects that help communities respond to climate change and transition to a clean economy.”
Each “corpsmember” would receive a salary between $25,000 and $50,000 through 2025. Since the bill would favor hiring from “labor groups,” taxpayers can be certain that the new positions would exist until the end of all creation — or, for the next twelve years. Whichever comes first.
“The CCC would put 1.5 million young people to work strengthening our communities and preserving our lands — doing everything from remediating blight and maintaining trails to creating entirely new green spaces,” Ocasio-Cortez remarked. “The program also provides the support needed to turn this work into a career path — including childcare, eldercare and tax-free educational grants to be used for student loan debt payments or higher education.”
The CCC sounds an awful lot like a miniaturized GND.
Ban Fracking Act
Though likewise tame in the light of the Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez has suggested the outright abolition of fracking.
The Ban Fracking Act of 2020 would “institute an immediate federal ban on all new federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure and a ban on fracking within 2,500 feet of homes and schools by 2021,” then “ban fracking nationwide” starting in 2025. Breadwinners who work in the fossil fuel industry would be placed into “good-paying jobs in the communities in which they live as the United States moves quickly to an energy system based on sustainable energy and energy efficiency.”
“The science is clear: fracking is a leading contributor to our climate emergency. It is destroying our land. It is destroying our water and it is wreaking havoc on our communities’ health,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We must do our job to protect our future from the harms caused by the fracking industry and its methane emissions.”
Despite lofty promises from progressives seeking to upend the nation’s energy infrastructure, promises of booming growth and new jobs never seem to materialize. Reporters once asked former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki where employees from the canceled Keystone Pipeline could receive their promised green energy jobs. A year and a half later, those employees are doubtlessly still not holding their breath.
Ocasio-Cortez’s H.Res.666 — an identifier that should automatically be imputed to all Democrat-proposed legislation — would lead the House of Representatives into ratifying the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Stating that poverty and inequality are “choices made by people in power” instead of “inevitables,” the resolution asserts that the United States must be “held accountable by Americans and the international community for ensuring these rights for all Americans.”
Unsurprisingly, the United Nations’ Covenant reads like another socialist wish list — even beyond the overtly Marxist framework upon which it is based. Among other items, the document declares “the right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice,” the necessity to provide “paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits” for mothers, and the “progressive introduction” of free college education.
The Embrace Act
Ocasio-Cortez’s “Embrace Act” would guarantee all existing federal benefits be made available to illegal immigrants.
“Our nation must recognize that our history — immigrants, enslaved peoples, and refugees built this country,” the lawmaker’s website says. “We all do better when we create a just society that embraces our most vulnerable populations and paves a path to prosperity for all.”
To attain this end, Uncle Sam would be compelled to provide a wide menu of handouts to illegal immigrants — including “any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit” available to American taxpayers.
Ocasio-Cortez’s bill, which is unfair on paper, would be even more disastrous in practice. Within weeks of the Biden administration assuming office — after months of promising to welcome migrants with open arms — the southern border saw a 674% year-over-year increase in illegal crossings.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.