Pelosi: Green New Deal As Conceived Is 'Not What We Hope to Achieve'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Holds Her Weekly News Conference On Capitol Hill
Getty Images
February 27, 2019

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in an interview published Wednesday the Green New Deal "goes beyond what our charge is" on climate change and has an agenda that is "not what we hope to achieve."

Liberal magazine Rolling Stone asked Pelosi, a longtime advocate for action on climate change, about the resolution put forward by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.). It seeks a dramatic overhaul of the U.S. economic and energy systems, along with a laundry list of progressive agenda items like guaranteed income and universal health care.

"Now, in terms of the Green New Deal [as conceived], that goes beyond what our charge is. Our charge is about saving the planet," Pelosi said. "They have in there things like single-payer and ... what is it? Guaranteed income?"

Her chief of staff Drew Hammill chimed in, "Guaranteed income, and then a jobs guarantee."

"And then they have, I don’t know if it’s single-payer or Medicare for All," Pelosi said. "It’s kind of, like, a broader agenda. All good values, but nonetheless, not what we hope to achieve with this focused, determined, decision-making: You’re either for the planet or you are not. There is no 'plan B' for the planet. We have to preserve it, and it is in great jeopardy."

Pelosi earlier this month praised the "enthusiasm" behind the resolution.

The Green New Deal has come under fire, even from some on the left, as being far too expensive and unrealistic to consider as serious policy. A new study says it could cost as much as $94 trillion to implement over the next 10 years.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said he told Markey "what in the heck is this" when he first read the resolution.

Former Obama Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said the timeline of the resolution was "just impractical."

Ocasio-Cortez has lashed out at critics of the resolution, saying that at least she's trying to address the issue and until then, "I'm the boss, how about that?"