Recently, Sanders — who is one of 22 candidates running in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020 — announced his alignment with Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal. As IJR previously reported, the Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution that aims to set America on a path for a complete economic overhaul to better prepare the U.S. to battle climate change.
Many moderate Democrats have been hesitant to support the Green New Deal because of the extreme climate solutions proposed in the resolution, especially when it comes to the $93 trillion that it would cost American taxpayers. Beyond the cost, it could impact votes for many Democrats as traditional liberal voters, such as union workers, announce their opposition to the resolution.
Because of this conflict within the Democratic voter base, 2020 candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden have tried to find a “middle ground” on climate policy that would show serious concern for the planet without tanking the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately for Biden, the left-wing of the Democratic Party isn’t interested in a middle ground. Ocasio-Cortez — who was called the “future” of the party by Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez — came out swinging against Biden’s attempt to find a middle ground.
The congresswoman called Biden’s plan a “deal breaker.”
This is a dealbreaker.
There is no “middle ground” w/ climate denial & delay.
Blaming “blue collar” Americans as the main opponents to bold climate policy is gas lobbyist 101.
We’re not going to solve the climate crisis w/ this lack of leadership. Our kids’ lives are at stake. https://t.co/KvrBmaJd75
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 10, 2019
This is why a “middle ground” approach to our climate crisis is unacceptable.
This isn’t like other issues where you can pretend you’re a sober adult by cutting the difference between left and right.
You’re either fighting for our future or you’re not.https://t.co/YLOVzNe2Z9
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 13, 2019
During a speech Monday night at Howard University, Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd, “No middle ground is right.”
“I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to come back today and say we need a ‘middle-of-the-road’ approach to save our lives. That is too much for me.”
Sanders echoed this position at a recent campaign stop, telling voters:
“You know and I know that the scientific community has been very clear: that is if we do not act boldly and aggressively to transform our global energy system away from fossil fuels within a short few years, there will be irreparable harm done to our planet, and we are united in saying we will not allow that to happen.”
Republicans have tapped into this tension on the left. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has already pushed one vote on the Green New Deal. Most Democrats voted “present” to try and show unity within the party.