Kirsten Gillibrand on Green New Deal: 'I Support All the Framework'

The senator touted 'teaching young people how to do solar and wind and geothermal and hydro-power'

February 15, 2019

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) gave the Green New Deal a full endorsement during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday.

Gillibrand said she thinks climate change is the "greatest threat to humanity, of all threats today." She said she thinks the U.S. needs far-reaching solutions that create "a sense of urgency among all Americans."

"I support all the framework that the Green New Deal supports because that's a very wide breadth. It does things like teaching young people how to do solar and wind and geothermal and hydro-power and biofuels, investing into those industries, so that they can replace some of the carbon-driven industries, so that we actually have a renewable path," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand also compared the Green New Deal to President John F. Kennedy's declaration that the United States would put a man on the moon in the 1960s, saying that the United States could use a similar "moonshot" plan with the Green New Deal.

"We want to have a renewable economy in 10 years, not because it's easy, but because it's hard," Gillibrand said.

The senator also compared the project to America's westward expansion, saying that it is endemic to the American spirit to "conquer" unknown problems.

"It's part of our heritage actually, solving large problems," she said.

According to a FAQ released—and later deleted and retracted—by the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), the Green New Deal's framework includes replacing or upgrading every building America with green energy alternatives, building "high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary," and providing economic security to people "unwilling to work."

Gillibrand has acknowledged it is unlikely that implementing the deal within the next 10 years is an unlikely prospect, and has referred to it as an "aspirational" plan.

"There's so much opportunity in this bill for economic growth and really fixing things that are broken," she said during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC's All In. "So why not have an aspirational goal? And maybe some things are hard to get to, and maybe we won't actually get there, but why not at least try?"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) announced Tuesday that he would call the deal to a vote, to "give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal." Even the deal's own sponsor in the Senate, Ed Markey (D., Mass.), complained about McConnell trying to "sabotage the movement" by making them vote on it.