Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) is not a fan of the Green New Deal, but he was so impressed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) recent "heartfelt" speech in which she defended the measure, that he's invited her to tour a coal mine with him. Even more surprising, she's accepted.
"I’d be happy to go to Kentucky, and I’d also like to note that in the Green New Deal, one of the things I advocate for is fully funding the pensions of coal miners in West Virginia and throughout Appalachia because we want a just transition to make sure that we’re investing in jobs across those swaths of the country,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez added that while she may be a New Yorker, the issue is close to her heart because her Puerto Rican family "was a rural family too." In her defensive speech about the environmental measure, Ocasio-Cortez rejected the notion that it would adversely affect coal miners. She knows the hardships they're facing, she insisted, including the "complete injustice the cancer levels that a lot of these communities are confronting."
Barr, a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus, appreciated the progressive freshman's remarks, which he called "genuine." He's yet to set a date for their coal mine tour, but he promised it'd be "a lot of fun."
Democrats would be wise to not make enemies of coal, considering how the state of West Virginia turned on Hillary Clinton in 2016 when she vowed to run the industry into the ground.
Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive colleagues introduced the controversial Green New Deal a few weeks back. Yet, when it came time to vote, they voted "present," accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of holding a "sham" vote. Guy spotlighted a video that exposed the hypocrisy of it all.