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AOC Backs Out From Defending Green New Deal, Cites Michael Cohen

oversight hearing green new dealRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had agreed to appear before Republicans on Wednesday to face criticism of her “Green New Deal,” but then declined, saying she had to be at the Oversight hearing with President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.

“We reached out to her … and she initially said ‘yes,’” Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who chaired the Wednesday hearing of the Western Caucus, told the Washington Examiner.

He explained that he and Cortez serve on the same Oversight Committee that spent all day questioning Cohen and he was able to ask his questions early on. “We tried to make every opportunity for her to join, but she wasn’t able to,” he continued.

The Western Caucus forum, entitled the “Green New Deal Pipe Dream,” featured primarily opponents of the progressive climate change agenda, who testified and answered questions from Gosar and other Republicans.

Proponents of Cortez’ deal were also invited and either declined to participate or were unresponsive to invitations, according to a caucus agenda.

Gosar’s staff explained that Cortez had RSVP’d on Monday, but then on Tuesday said it would be impossible for her to attend due to the Oversight hearing with Cohen.

“They RSVP’d of Monday, followed up on Tuesday and said, ‘We’re not going to be able to make it with the Cohen hearing, and leadership has said they want us there the whole time,’” an aide explained.

Gosar said that his office has had multiple conversations with both her and her staff, in which the forum’s agenda was explained to Cortez in detail. So, she knew what to expect.

“We have been very transparent about who was going to be here, and were willing to have some of their witnesses testify,” said a Gosar aide who helped organize the event.

The intent was to have people for and against the Green New Deal testify, and “that’s why she RSVP’d,” the aide said. She welcomed the opportunity, he said.

A release issued by the Western Caucus on Tuesday said Cortez’ staff requested that the policy group New Consensus be allowed to testify in her place.

The group was integral in helping her staff create the Green New Deal resolution and would have the best handle on the specifics of the plan.

Demond Drummer, co-founder and executive director of New Consensus was then invited to testify. Drummer was invited, but not present at the Western Caucus forum.

Other proponents were also invited, such as the environmental group Sierra Club, which the caucus noted “declined” to participate. Others backing the Green New Deal, such as the Sunrise Movement, were marked as invited but did not attend.

Rep. Cortez’ office had not returned requests to comment by press time.

Read more at Washington Examiner

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