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Energy & Environment

Dem. Rep. Bashes Green New Deal: ‘There’s No Need to Lie to Voters’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey discuss the proposed “Green New Deal,” February 7, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Representative Max Rose (D., N.Y.) lambasted fellow New York freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday for using the threat of climate change to advance a “massive socialist economic-policy platform” via the Green New Deal plan she introduced earlier this year.

Rose, during a Wednesday interview on New York’s local Metro Focus program, agreed with Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow progressives that climate change is an existential threat that requires a commensurate response, but argued that the federal-jobs and housing guarantees included in the plan are not necessary to combat climate change.

“This is not the time for milquetoast incrementalism,” Rose said. “It just isn’t. But with that being said, nothing about what I just said would provide a justification for a massive socialist economic-policy platform. [It’s] just not needed.”

“There’s no need to lie to voters right now,” he added. “We don’t need the Democratic version of ‘repeal and replace.’”

Rose, who earned a Purple Heart and a bronze star for his Army service in Afghanistan, dared Ocasio-Cortez to back a primary challenger against him when asked about her threat to unseat any Democrat who refused to back her progressive vision.

“She’s going to keep a list,” Rose said, referring to reports that Ocasio-Cortez threatened to make a list of uncooperative Democrats to provide to liberal activists. “This is very simple because I’m not one to deal in subtleties. I think it’s best not to be passive-aggressive. If she wants to primary me, if the Justice Democrats want to primary me, I’ll lay out the red carpet. We can settle this at the polls.”

The Green New Deal, which calls for a comprehensive restructuring of the economy in order to transition to 100 percent renewable energy within twelve years, would cost between $51 and $93 trillion in new government spending, according to the estimates of the American Action Forum.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell held a vote on the plan late last month, prompting accusations from Democratic leadership that he was rushing the legislation to the floor in order to avoid having a substantive debate on it. Rather than going on record in support of the resolution, Democrats uniformly voted “present” while Republicans unanimously opposed its passage.

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