Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Rep. Paul Tonko, D-New York, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce’s Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, said he embraces the “goals and principles” of the Green New Deal resolution, but did not endorse the broader plan to radically remake the U.S. economy to combat climate change and make the country more resilient.

“I appreciate the consciousness that they’ve raised among Americans coast to coast, but I think my role as chairman and the role of the subcommittee … is to design and develop the tools that get us to those goals and that will be done on science-based, evidence-based grounding,” he said.