Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seemed to subtly knock the idea of bringing freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal up for a vote in the House on Wednesday, Roll Call reports.
When asked about the Green New Deal while speaking as a part of a lecture series at Howard University, the Speaker of the House appeared hesitant on bringing the controversial resolution to a vote in the House, stating that she could not “say we’re going to take that and pass it” because the House would “have to go through our checks and balances of it with our committee chairs and the rest.”
Pelosi went on to say that they “welcome[d] all the enthusiasm that people want to put on the table” — including the Green New Deal — but that they “[had] to operate in a way that’s evidence-based, current in its data.”
“I can’t say we’re going to take that and pass it because we have to go through our checks and balances of it with our committee chairs and the rest. We welcome all the enthusiasm that people want to put on the table, and the Green New Deal is one of them, but we have to operate in a way that’s evidence-based, current in its data.”
This is not the first time Pelosi has shown caution with — or thrown shade at — the Green New Deal. In a Politico article earlier this month, Pelosi was quoted as referring to the Green New Deal as “one of several or maybe many suggestions” the House will take into its consideration before continuing on with, “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”
Pelosi has made climate change a major issue in the House for the 116th Congress, announcing the formation of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, a group Ocasio-Cortez opted out of. In December of last year and naming Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) the chair of the committee.
The Green New Deal, a nonbinding resolution introduced to Congress this month championed by Ocasio-Cortez in the House and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate, has been lit up by critics on both sides of the aisle since its introduction in early February. Senate Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on “Morning Joe” that he asked Markey, “What the heck is this?” after reading the resolution.
“At this point, I would be – I can’t tell ya’, to be honest with you. I’ve read it and I’ve re-read it. And I asked Ed Markey what in the — what in the heck is this? He says it is an aspiration, you know, it’s a resolution aspiration.”
Democratic Party leadership keeps trying to quell the grassroots movement for @AOC's Green New Deal, even as nearly every 2020 Democrat endorses it. Why not fight?
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) February 20, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this month that he has “noted with great interest the Green New Deal” plans to bring the resolution up for a vote in the Senate so that senators have “an opportunity to go on the record” about “how they feel about the Green New Deal.”
.@Senatemajldr: "I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal. And we're going to be voting on that in the Senate. Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the #GreenNewDeal." pic.twitter.com/1HP5lSDjzM
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2019
Some 2020 presidential hopeful Democratic senators — such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — have voiced their backing of the Green New Deal and would be put in a position to go on record in support of the resolution should the vote happen.
Correction [3/1/19, 9:45 a.m. ET]: An earlier version of this story incorrectly state that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not invited to serve on the House’s Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. We have corrected the error.