House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) cast more shade on the Green New Deal resolution in an interview with Rolling Stone which was published Wednesday. Pelosi was featured on the cover of the magazine with the resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
"Now, in terms of the Green New Deal [as conceived], that goes beyond what our charge is,” Pelosi said in the interview. “Our charge is about saving the planet. They have in there things like single-payer and … what is it? Guaranteed income?"
Pelosi’s chief of staff Drew Hammill confirmed that the proposal had included, "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."
The current text of the ambitious resolution proposes “overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible,” and “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.”
It also calls for providing all people in the U.S. with “high-quality health care” and “economic security.”
In terms of what actions Pelosi would like to see on climate change, she argued for a more focused and gradual approach.
“In any event, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we have to put a price on coal, on carbon,” she said. “It might be a carbon tax. We’ll see, but that’s the reason you have hearings and see what’s possible, what the market will be, what the private sector is willing to invest in, what is working in some other countries, and what we can do working together.”
“You have to make decisions that you’re going to reach certain goals, and some of our goals we think are achievable,” she added. “That’s why public opinion is so important. Young people know better than people who serve here in Congress that this is important to do.”
Pelosi praised the “enthusiasm” behind the proposal, projected by one study to cost $93 trillion over ten years, earlier this month.
However, in an earlier interview with Politico, she also dismissively referred to it as “the green dream or whatever they call it," adding, "nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Tuesday that he would bring the resolution to a vote in the Senate before August recess and Democrats have floated the idea of unanimously voting “present” to avoid taking a stance on the extreme proposal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed Wednesday that McConnell was bringing the proposal up as a “diversion.” Democrats, led by Schumer, are bringing up a separate climate change resolution which will reportedly cover all of the things they agree on on the issue.