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FOCUS: Biggest Obstacle to Passage of Green New Deal? Democratic Lawmakers.
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50403"><span class="small">Ledyard King, USA Today</span></a>   
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:34

King writes: "If the Green New Deal came up for a vote in the Democrat-controlled House, it would have trouble passing. Because of the Democrats."

Senator Dianne Feinstein. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Dianne Feinstein. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Biggest Obstacle to Passage of Green New Deal? Democratic Lawmakers.

By Ledyard King, USA Today

20 March 19


f the Green New Deal came up for a vote in the Democrat-controlled House, it would have trouble passing.

Because of the Democrats.

Party moderates leading a new climate-change panel said Thursday that they can't support the ambitious resolution led by liberal firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that calls not only for combating the environmental crisis but also champions broad social reforms such as free housing, medical coverage and higher education for all Americans.

Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., Sean Casten, D-Ill., Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Susan Wild, D-Pa, the four co-chairs of the New Democrat Coalition's Climate Change Task Force, said they oppose the Green New Deal as currently written.

More than 100 of the 235 House Democrats are part of the coalition, including 17 on the climate panel.

All four, speaking to reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference, said that they applaud the attention the Green New Deal has brought to the issue and support its intent, but don't see it as a realistic solution.

"We all care about the same issues," Luria said. But "the Green New Deal is aspirational. What we plan to do is offer tangible, achievable things."

Other Democrats have been even more stinging.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said "there's no way to pay for" the Green New Deal and is drafting a narrower alternative. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has criticized the plan as a "dream" that would hurt regions dependent on reliable, affordable energy. Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., praised the Green New Deal's goal to wean the country off fossil fuels and transition to renewable fuels but said its timeline is far too ambitious.

Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, defended the Green New Deal resolution as "a vision for the just transformation of our economy and energy production system."

"That vision is supported by the majority of the American people and the residents of the Bronx and Queens," he said referring to the New York City district the congresswoman represents. "This office will do what we can to continue promoting policies that will improve the lives of the residents of the Bronx and Queens."

If the Green New Deal comes up for a vote in the House, Democrats could lose up to 18 members of their caucus and still pass the measure, assuming every Republican votes against it.

That's if it ever comes up for a vote.

Democratic leaders have not scheduled a vote and there's no indication one will occur anytime soon. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that the measure would go through committees first while adding she was "more excited" about the work that would be coming out of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

President Donald Trump, who has openly questioned his own administration's scientific reports on climate change, has ridiculed the Green New Deal, calling it "a high school term paper that got a low mark."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has vowed to bring the measure – which he adamantly opposes – to the floor as a way to get Democrats to go "on record" about the controversial proposal.

The task force hasn't officially met yet and has not gotten behind specific policy solutions. Beyer said he supports a pricing system for the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Casten said he favors a cap-and-trade system that would limit how much carbon is produced. Luria, a former nuclear engineer in the Navy, supports expanded nuclear power. 

"The aspirations of the Green New Deal are great," Casten said. "The amount of energy it's brought to this issue is fantastic. But doing energy policy right really requires making sure you get the expertise of the folks that have been down in the trenches."

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:54


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+35 # DongiC 2019-03-20 13:23
Several Democrats and, practically all Republicans, don't understand that they don't have much time to restore the environment; about 12 years. If we don't stop the warming process and temperatures climb 3 degrees, weather conditions will become severe. Immigration will go out of sight as entire regions in India and Bangladesh flee the rising waters. America's east coast will be in trouble along with cities from Boston to Miami. Shanghai will be partly under water as the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans continue to rise and the glaciers in Greenland begin to melt. Climate chaos will ensue and our collective suffering will be cataclysmic.

So come on guys get with the program. It is called survival. If you are not for this, then, get the hell out of Washington and let the activists do their thing. My descendants want a chance at a decent life. They can't have this if the planet goes to hell.
+24 # apotem 2019-03-20 14:25
Money from fossil fuel industries is too tempting to run against.
+28 # dsfingers 2019-03-20 14:35
The Party solution: dig a deep enough hole, stick you head in it and hope your ass doesn’t get burned while you talk out of it, all while appearing so “reasonable”. LOL
+44 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-03-20 15:02
Oh yeah, the Democrats should just nominate Hillary Clinton again so they can keep raking in that corporate (BIG OIL) cash.
Vote these old fogey middle-of-the-r oad Democrats out of office. The new young Progressives are our only hope for a future environmentally and to take back "our" government. Stop the War Machine and we can afford what we need.
+8 # wrknight 2019-03-20 18:00
Don't forget the Wall St. cash.
+1 # lfeuille 2019-03-21 19:53
Nah, they'll go for Biden this time.
+18 # draak 2019-03-20 15:03
They must be primaried.
+1 # Robbee 2019-03-21 10:31
Quoting draak:
They must be primaried.

Biggest Obstacle to Passage of Green New Deal? Democratic Lawmakers.
By Ledyard King, USA Today
20 March 19

- lie!

the biggest obstacle is know nothings among poor, white, bible-thumping working class voters - a hUUUuge MINORITY!

2ND BIGGEST OBSTACLE - dickhead! and his veto!

3RD BIGGEST OBSTACLE - repuke senate majority!


5TH BIGGEST OBSTACLE - dem house members on the take!
+35 # neis 2019-03-20 15:16
One needs to put a question to these Dems and their colleagues who oppose the GND:

"You and your colleagues oppose the GND because you 'plan to offer tangible, achievable things,' and because '...its timeline is too ambitious. Please provide the list of 'tangible, achievable things' that can be done that will guarnantee to keep us at or below 2.5 C. that will be in place and operational with the 11 years and 6 months that the IPPC says we have left to act, or else lock in permanent, civilization-th reatening climate disruption."
and a follow up....
"If you can't, would you please support the GND?"

This blunt question needs to be put to this new movement of "deniers-lite" who are just as dangerous, and who will produce the same results as the old-time Republican deniers. As the old saying goes, stupidity and evil are the same thing, judging by the results.
Or, you might remind them of the old Jim Hightower line: "The only thing in the middle of the road are yellow lines and road kill."
+5 # economagic 2019-03-20 20:41
Yes, and the challenge is tougher than that. The target is 1.5 degrees C (equal to 2.7 degrees F) by 2050 and level thereafter. An increase of 2 degrees C by 2050 would likely assure the Sixth Extinction and could make future efforts to limit temperature rise impossible.

What we need to accomplish by 2030, according to last year's IPCC interim report, is to get back to the path for 1.5 degrees by 2050 as envisioned by the Paris Accord of 2015. Right now we're on the path to 2 degrees C and still rising.
+4 # economagic 2019-03-20 20:44
BTW, that 1.5 degrees C by 2050 is from pre-industrial levels. We're most of the way there already.
+5 # wrknight 2019-03-21 17:21
Quoting neis:
...."If you can't, would you please support the GND?"...

or step aside and let a true progressive take your seat.
+36 # chrisconno 2019-03-20 15:19
I hate to say because I am 70 years old, but it is the dinosaurs who are not understanding the threat of climate change.
+15 # FarMor 2019-03-20 17:29
It is definitely the dinosaurs who are a big part of the problem says this 76-year-old rabid environmentalis t.
+18 # dotlady 2019-03-20 15:20
There goes the last hope of an American dream. Back to the muck of same old, same old. Can't progressive presidential candidates band together to pool their votes and form a new party, with the leading vote-getter as president? How else will anything get really changed for facing the climate warming future?
+16 # economagic 2019-03-20 17:01
Here come the New Democrats, same as the Old Democrats if by "old" we mean the fossil fools who have come to prominence OLD New Deal in 1985 with the formation of the Democratic Leadership Council, after helping to strangle it beginning a decade and more earlier amid the Powell Memo, the OPEC oil embargo, and the trumpeted "failure" of "Keynesian" economics.

"'We all care about the same issues,' Luria said."

Bullshit. This from one of "the four co-chairs of the . . . Climate Change Task Force" which "hasn't officially met yet." If they cared a whit about ANY of the issues championed in the "ambitious resolution"--or if they even understood those issues and the reason they are issues--they would be falling over each other with policy proposals to do SOMETHING instead of sitting on their thumbs doing NOTHING and explaining why it is impossible to do anything.

These people are scared of change almost as much as the miscreants across the aisle, and they have a nice sinecure from which they can sit and watch the changes wash them away. What a sorry-ass bunch of defeatists to believe they have "the right stuff" to serve their country aside from helping to maintain the "Perpetual War for perpetual peace."

Oh, and that "Green New Deal" they do not approve of? It doesn't exist yet, only an aspirational RESOLUTION petitioning the misleaders to recognize that action is called for, exactly what action yet to be determined.

+18 # bobmiller101 2019-03-20 17:15
I'm reminded of a radio ad that played on WABC in NYC in the 60's: "Money talks, nobody walks." The "corporate" or "center" Democrats care more about being re-elected than the future. After all, THEY won't be around to have to eat crow. They can't (or refuse to) see that the planet is CHANGING RIGHT NOW. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have roads and the Embarcadero flooding at high tide, and it gets worse every year. Trees are dying by the millions in the Sierras. But does that matter to Feinstein or Pelosi? Look at how Feinstain berated students recently that they didn't know what they were talking about, but SHE KNEW! Kids especially are TERRIFIED about the future. Unfortunately we don't have time for them to grow up and run for office, following in the steps of AOC. I honestly believe that deep down inside, these "centerists" they know what's going on BUT DON'T GAVE THE GUTS to take it on. Thank God we have Bernie, Warren, AOC and other Progressives speaking the truth. ONLY when the masses rise up will these Dino Dems change.
+13 # wrknight 2019-03-20 17:22
"Party moderates leading a new climate-change panel said Thursday that they can't support the ambitious resolution led by liberal firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that calls not only for combating the environmental crisis but also champions broad social reforms such as free housing, medical coverage and higher education for all Americans."

That's because the need the money to feed the Pentagon and "spread democracy". Also, it's not in the interests of their patrons.
+7 # 2019-03-20 17:38
#dotlady above is spot on. It is imperative that dems get out of the muck and find new leadership. Pelosi, HRC, etalli cut Bernies out before so they need to stand down to let the new young progressives have their say. The voters provided the opening so move with it.
-13 # cynik 2019-03-20 18:49
It would be easier to support if it focused only on climate change, not adding every utopian dream — free college, free health care, a lving wage even for people unwilling to work, etc.
Focus on stopping the warming of earth and ocean; forget about handing out cash to everyone on the street!
+6 # economagic 2019-03-21 08:35
That seems reasonable on its face. But stopping the warming cold (pun intended) by 2050, and holding it to the still potentially catastrophic 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, and keeping it there forever, will require a mass mobilization larger and for a longer time than the world has ever seen and larger and for a longer time than most people can even imagine. As with its namesake, this can only happen if there is something in it for everybody. Naomi Klein had an insightful article a couple of months ago, and I'm pretty sure it was picked up by RSN. If so, there is a search function on the home page that will eventually find it.
+14 # Sweetgum 2019-03-20 19:12
The old guard opposed the GND because they plan to offer tangible achievable things ( just like the republicans opposed the ACA for the same reason) and because it's timeline is too ambitious ( the same reason the old guard democrats oppose Medicare for all). Am I seeing a pattern here? I think that the old guard democrats have more in commom with the republicans than they have with other democrats
-10 # BKnowswhitt 2019-03-20 21:59
The sea planet is over 90% H2) and that is also carbon if CO2 is called Carbon .. has not warmed one bit in period of socalled global warming if you think so you are being lied to. Also sea level rise has been in centimeters like 20 in the last 50 years .. complete fabrications of truth telling and lying .. the 'studies' are cooked as is most of news today .. including on this site ..
+5 # economagic 2019-03-21 15:03
Now you're just making up the numbers.
-6 # BKnowswhitt 2019-03-21 21:40
What is the optimal or 'correct' temperature for the planet? Do you know one. Give it to me .. informed humber of what the 'fixed' number should be ignoring cyclical changes sun flares volcanic eruptions etc .. you don't have one .. YOU'RE Side is the one making numbers up my friend ..
+3 # economagic 2019-03-22 12:46
Uhh, no. You are correct that there is no "optimal or 'correct'" temperature for the planet.

But for the sake of other readers who may not be well versed in science and the use of the English language, the non-existence of such of such a temperature is simply irrelevant to any and all discussions of AGW. What IS relevant is the steady rise in several measures of global mean temperature over the past 200-400 years, some data series being longer than others. Also highly relevant is the cause of this meticulously observed and confirmed warming. We know the chemistry and the physics involved, and after nearly fifty years of increasingly detailed study the probability that the burning of carbon-based fuels is NOT the primary cause of AGW is (as the mathematicians say) "vanishingly small."

And BTW, WTF do you mean by "The sea planet is over 90% H2) and that is also carbon"? You write in sentence fragments, and you string words together in ways that have no meaning. Please get professional help, both for your science and for your self.
-6 # BKnowswhitt 2019-03-22 14:00
No temp change since '98 .. that is how far and wide and deep the lying studies are willing to contrive to their end result. Planet has heated only marginally 10lths of a degree and atlantic warmed one degree as ;pacific cooled one degree 5 years ago .. falling off of ice cap caused by local temp heated by volcanic activity undersea below there .. this is the kind of false and phoney and blatant lying .. it is despicable .. and more despicable that major news outlets allow it .. and promote it all ..
0 # economagic 2019-03-25 07:53
#)_&#+#!%T@*22& ^?????
+6 # MFM 2019-03-21 12:17
All right, Senators Pelosi and Feinstein and the Climate Change Task forces senators, how about sponsoring in the Senate the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (now H.R. 763)? It would place a carbon fee on emissions at their source, and refund the money to citizens. That's a very practical, doable item. Let's see them do that.
-5 # BKnowswhitt 2019-03-22 14:43
Ocasio-Cortez is like the adolescent who upon her own realization discovers that the World is Corrupt. Then she's fed the global warming data which is all political. Bill Nye for Example with his 'experiment' CO2 in container trapped heats up. CO2 does not act that way in the atmosphere proven. However the rabid NYe says that anyone who disagrees with their phoney science should be jailed and falsely claims that our survival as a species is upon the immediate stopping of CO2 emmissions is a crisis based on these lies. This is the very kind of Fascist Anarchical thinking that 'predetermines' based on false data .. false models .. znd 'fake news' .. out immediate destiny .. complete HOGWASH!!!
+2 # ktony 2019-03-23 12:49
# BKnowswhitt, Petro-propagand ist, is the one "washing hogs." Also, "putting lipstick on pigs." However, they are staying firmly immersed in porcine by-products.
+2 # CEB 2019-03-23 15:20
Even if there are questions of data, there is real climate and geo- physical evidence that points to an inexorable progress toward dramatic changes ito the planet which at first will result in mass extinctions and sooner than later will no longer support human life. I don’t know about you but I’d rather act sooner to institute measures which will effect changes which are ultimately in every human beings interest. This flame throwing against real efforts to remedy obvious climate change seems short sighted and selfish at best and disastrous at worst . Eventually as it was said in another context this blind lurch toward disaster will come for you.