McKenzie Schuessler, Opinions Editor
Amid all the chaos that has come along with the very hostile political climate, Democrats in the United States House of Representatives are backing a proposed bill that is stirring up Congress. Representative from New York’s 14th Congressional District Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a major proponent of the Green New Deal.
Along with Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, Oscasio-Cortez has laid out details behind the controversial Green New Deal. According to National Public Radio, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben said, “In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.”
The Green New Deal encompasses four different aspects of policy legislation. The economic bills of rights, a green transition, real financial reform and a functioning democracy. Under each pillar, the Green New Deal proposes change for many common concerns that affect Americans every day. However, the primary focus of the policy is abolishing unemployment and paving a way for a more green and sustainable America. In theory, the more we shift to an environmentally friendly America, the more jobs and economic growth will sky rocket.
Overall, the proposed legislation doesn’t seem like an out-of-touch policy. On paper, it actually sounds well thought out. Some controversy of course comes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being a freshman congresswoman who has shaken up the formal politics laid out. However, I think the main controversy of the Green New Deal comes from is a place of politicians not being able to agree on what actually is the problem in front of us.
A large context of the policy legislation that is proposed is a solution to the issue of climate change. In order to pass this legislation, there needs to be a general agreement that climate change is real and that it is negatively affecting our world in which we live in. As of today, the is no general consensus on the harsh realities of climate change.
So, if we know that this bill will sit in the House and not pass in the Senate, why are we still talking about it? Well, we’re still talking about it because as presidential candidates roll out their bids, many are being asked by potential voters their stance on the legislation. The doom of climate change is a scary threat that many people are opening their eyes up to. With more people listening to environmentalists, voters are becoming consciously aware that change in the form of policy is a necessity. With the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, many politicians, voters and interest groups are hoping to elect not only a Democrat president, but Democrat politicians across the board to push the Green New Deal.
In an NPR interview, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I do think that when there’s a wide spectrum of debate on an issue, that is where the public plays a role. That is where the public needs to call their member of Congress and say, ‘This is something that I care about.'” All things considered, I hope people continue to keep the Green New Deal in discussion.