Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce
WASHINGTON — Days after introducing her Green New Deal — a plan to combat climate change that has won the endorsement of several Democratic presidential candidates — Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez found the proposal enmeshed in confusion when her staff published a summary that included provisions not endorsed by the candidates.
Over the weekend her staff backed away from the document, saying it was incomplete and had been published by accident, after Republicans pounced on the plan, citing a blog post of frequently asked questions. That post included language that called for economic security “for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
“An early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake,” Saikat Chakrabarti, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, wrote on Twitter, referring to the plan by its acronym.
The plan, written by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat from New York, and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, was modeled on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and embraced by several presidential candidates, including Senators Kamala Harris, Democrat of California; Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York; and Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. It was also welcomed by Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, who is seen as a possible presidential contender.
The sweeping resolution, which calls for the United States to eliminate additional emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide by 2030, was also signed by more than 60 House and Senate Democrats. The plan is a nonbinding resolution and outlines goals in broad strokes rather than mapping out concrete legislation.
Spokeswomen and spokesmen for Senator Harris, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Booker and Senator Sanders did not return telephone calls or emails requesting comment on the error.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has promoted the plan as a blueprint for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee. But Republicans have turned the episode with the FAQ into a campaign moment, putting out a news release saying the document revealed the “new extreme left’s startling priorities.”
“They completely screwed it up,” said John Feehery, a Republican and former senior House aide. “The fact that a young freshman would make careless mistakes is not that surprising. The fact that all these presidential candidates, who are trying to distinguish themselves from the president by saying they have gravitas and credibility, would so blindly follow her is a little shocking.”
“Mistakes happen” when coordinating multiple groups and collaborators, Mr. Chakrabarti wrote on Twitter. “What’s in the resolution is the GND.”
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