Energy

‘Green New Deal’ Suggests Welfare For Those ‘Unwilling To Work.’ Is That A Mistake?

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor
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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” resolution calls on the federal government to provide economic security for those “unwilling to work.”

A “Green New Deal” FAQ page posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional website says a “Green New Deal” Would guarantee “[e]conomic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.” In other words, people who may not want to work.

However, Ocasio-Cortez’s staff seemed to have taken the FAQ off their website as of Thursday afternoon.

GND_FAQ

Screenshot/Ocasio-cortez.house.gov

The same line is on the FAQ Ocasio-Cortez’s staff gave to NPR along with the actual text of the resolution. The “Green New Deal” resolution’s actual text simply calls for “economic security for all people of the United States.”

The legislative test puts “economic security” on a list of things the government should provide, including “high-quality health care,” “affordable, safe, and adequate housing” and “access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”

Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her “Green New Deal” resolution Thursday alongside Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, who introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Markey’s bill is co-sponsored by 2020 presidential contenders, including Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

Ocasio-Cortez said the House version had more than 60 co-sponsors, including Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The bill is unlikely to pass the House and has zero chance of passing the Senate.

House Democratic leadership hasn’t lined up behind the “Green New Deal.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the resolution as a “suggestion” that would only be an option her party considered.

“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politico Wednesday. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

“No, I think it is a green dream,” Ocasio-Cortez responded at an event Thursday to promote her resolution. “I think that all great American programs, everything from the Great Society to the New Deal. Started with a vision for our future, and I don’t consider that to be a dismissive term. I think it’s a great term.”

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