Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., are preparing to introduce "Green New Deal” legislation -- marking a big step forward in the push to implement a massive package of big-government programs aimed at radically transforming the American economy.
Axios first reported that the lawmakers could introduce a bill as early as next week, though details are vague and it is unclear to what extent the proposal will stick to a draft document Ocasio-Cortez had circulated last year. A spokesperson for Markey confirmed to Fox News that the two lawmakers are working together -- on a proposal that has become a rallying cry on the left.
While there is no legislative text yet available for the Markey/Ocasio-Cortez proposal, the draft circulated by Ocasio-Cortez envisioned a sprawling government expansion that would dwarf FDR's New Deal. Ocasio-Cortez has described it as “a wartime-level, just economic mobilization plan to get to 100% renewable energy.”
Seeking to tackle the challenges of income inequality and climate change, the draft text called for a committee to be formed to create a plan, and lays out a framework that includes eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and agriculture, while “dramatically” expanding energy sources to meet 100 percent of power demand through renewable sources. The text calls it a "historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation.”
The plan goes well beyond environmental measures, however, with a laundry list of left-wing promises like a job-guarantee program, basic-income programs, universal health care “and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.”
To cover what would presumably be a gargantuan cost, it envisions financing by “the federal government, using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate, in order to ensure that interest and other investment returns generated from public investments made in connection with the plan will be returned to the treasury, reduce taxpayer burden and allow for more investment.”
As it stands, any such proposal would be almost certainly dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, and also possibly the House -- where it is not clear if a majority of Democrats would back a plan. However, it is possible the plan Markey and Ocasio-Cortez propose could be a scaled-back version.
The broader idea of a Green New Deal, once an idea on the fringe of the party, has picked up mainstream Democratic support -- a sign of the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left in recent years.
An analysis by Fox News this month showed at least eight potential and current Democratic 2020 candidates have voiced support for or touted aspects of the proposal -- including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J.