The former chief of staff for progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for attempting to add unrelated legislation to a lengthy bill intended to help Americans in a time of crisis.
Saikat Chakrabarti, who parted ways with AOC last summer amid a probe into his activities by the FBI, had been a key member of the team that authored the Green New Deal. That policy package proposal, hailed by only the far-left, included bans on meat production, air travel, and many socialist economic initiatives.
In the 1,400 page bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Speaker Pelosi, many of the policy proposals from the Green New Deal reappeared on the pages of the suggested legislation. Framed as a way to help Americans survive a freeze on the economy and a rapidly spreading virus, Pelosi insisted that the socialist agenda was necessary for economic health.
However, those from the left and right balked at the House bill, noting many proposals that had little to do with the current crisis. Pelosi’s relief bill, in fact, included a multitude of plans that have long been on the far-left’s wish list of policy initiatives. As reported on Townhall this week, that list includes:
-$10K in student loan forgiveness
-Publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards
-A bail out on all current debt at the Postal Service
-Corporate board diversity programs which would require reporting of the sex and ethnicity of all hires.
-Required early voting
-Required same day voter registration
-Provisions on official time for union collective bargaining
-Full offset of airline emissions by 2025
-Publication and reporting of greenhouse gas statistics for individual flights
-Retirement plans for community newspaper employees
-Federal $15 minimum wage
-Permanent paid leave
-Study on climate change mitigation efforts
Echoing several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as many stunned voters, Chakrabarti took to Twitter to express his discontent with Pelosi’s not-so-subtle attempt to use scared and suffering Americans as leverage to push a socialist agenda.
“I helped write the #GreenNewDeal and I think this is ridiculous,” Chakrabarti said. “The tiny little emissions standard increase doesn’t even do anything meaningful to stave off climate change and gives the @GOP leverage to get rid of real help for working people. Solve the problem at hand.”
I helped write the #GreenNewDeal and I think this is ridiculous.— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 25, 2020
The tiny little emissions standard increase doesn’t even do anything meaningful to stave off climate change and gives the @GOP leverage to get rid of real help for working people.
Solve the problem at hand. https://t.co/KemaYkV7gn
Prior to his dismissal from AOC's team, Chakrabarti was criticized for a Washington Post profile in which he revealed that the "Green New Deal," had little to do with climate activism and much more to do with restructuring the economy of the United States.
"The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said in July 2019, just weeks before his political exit, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all...Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti asked. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Now separated from policy assemblage and greater political influence, Chakrabarti skewered Pelosi for delaying a bill that could have delivered help to Americans much sooner, without the divisive addition of so many initiatives.
“Imagine if Pelosi had passed a simple, 5-page bill that just did the obvious stuff everyone knows [could] hold the economy together,” he said. “Payroll covered, debts pauses, direct cash to people, 0% interest loans for business. Then dare the Senate to oppose it. We’d have a bill last week.”
Imagine if Pelosi had passed a simple, 5-page bill that just did the obvious stuff everyone knows coild hold the economy together. Payroll covered, debts pauses, direct cash to people, 0% interest loans for business. Then dare the Senate to oppose it. We’d have a bill last week.— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 25, 2020
Speaker Pelosi defended the multitude of far-left agenda items as being necessary to fight the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.
"Everything we're suggesting is related to COVID-19," Pelosi said on Tuesday. "It's not about the future, it's about COVID-19...It is not changing policy except as it applies here."
After days of discord between Republicans and Democrats in the senate over the $2 Trillion CARES Act, the upper chamber is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday afternoon after a deal was struck in the very late night hours on Tuesday.
The far-left "wish list" included in Pelosi's bill indicates that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would be highly unlikely to ever bring it to a vote in the Senate. Likewise, President Trump has said he would never sign the bill into law.