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H.Res.109 / S.Res.59 - Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal

Photo of Congress member Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe Congress should create a 10-year plan to be titled the "Green New Deal," which should achieve numerous goals, including a zero-net emissions of greenhouse gases, investing in infrastructure and industry of the U.S., creating millions of high-paying jobs, ensuring clean water and clean air for all, working with farmers and the agricultural industry, and guaranteeing affordable health insurance for all. Climate change is a threat to our national security and this plan directly tackles it.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that the Green New Deal plan would essentially create a Federal jobs program, which would force the government to do things the private industry should be providing. This could lead to further stagnation of the private sector which can ultimately hurt the U.S. economy.


03/27/19 UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has forced a vote on his Senate version of the Green New Deal resolution. Democrats, in a surprising move, all voted "present" on the resolution, calling the vote a "fake vote" and a "cynical stunt." The Senate resolution failed the Senate with a 0 - 57 vote on 03/26/19.

On the day before the Senate vote, democratic Senators were already calling foul on the then future vote.

“Instead of confronting the generational challenge of climate change, Senate Republicans just want to make a mockery of the #GreenNewDeal,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said. “Because they have no plan to fight climate change.”

“Senate Republicans are playing political games with climate change,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted. “We should not be wasting our time with fake votes & cynical stunts. The Republican majority must stop denying science and finally admit that climate change is real. Time is not on our side.”

"Republicans want to force this political stunt to distract from the fact that they neither have a plan nor a sense of urgency to deal with the threat of climate change," Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) said. "Everyone knows it's a stunt, including the majority leader himself. He put something on the floor and then votes no. What's the point of that?"

3 Democratic Senators and 1 independent voted against the measure. These being Sens. Jones (D-AL), Manchin (D-WV), Sinema (D-AZ), and King (I-ME) respectively.

While Democrats blame Republicans of playing political tactics, Republicans are jointly against the measure.

"The Green New Deal is chockful of utopian ideas but completely devoid of concrete plans to implement any of its overreaching policies," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). "You might as well throw in free beer and pizza."

Democratic Senator Manchin (D-VA), who voted against the measure, said he wanted to focus on "real solutions that recognized the role fossil fuels will continue to play."

"We cannot successfully address our climate challenge by eliminating sources of energy that countries are committed to using," Sen. Manchin said. "Only through innovating and developing new technologies that reduce carbon emissions will we truly make a difference."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been open about his plan to force a vote on the resolution, with his intent being to put Democrats, especially those running for President on 2020, on the record regarding the Green New Deal Resolution.


The "Green New Deal Resolution" would allow Congress to agree on creating a 10-year plan to be known as the Green New Deal. Since this is a broad resolution, there would be no implications to the actual law, rather it is a way for Congress to agree on a broad set of policies regarding a future act to be known as the Green New Deal. The actual legislation of the Green New Deal would be released later.

The resolution includes a set of goals and accomplishments to be made by the Green new deal as well as numerous facts that encompasses the need for the passage of the bill. These include several details from a 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report made under the Trump administration, such as:
- "Human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century";
- "a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure"; and
- the fact that global warming will cause mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change, cause more than $500 Billion in lost annual economic output by the end of the century, cause wildfires that by 2050 will burn at least twice as much forest area in the western U.S. than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019, and cause a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth.

The proposal continues stating the risks of continuing with the environmental standards of today, stating that more than 350 thousand more people are to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050 and there will be a risk of damage to $1 Trillion of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States. With the U.S. emitting 20% of the global greenhouse emission, and being a global leader with the technological capabilities to reduce such emissions, the resolution calls on Congress to support the Green New Deal.

The resolution also states a current set of crises that the U.S. is currently experiencing, including: - the decline of life expectancy while basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education, are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population;
- a 4-decade trend of wage stagnation, deindustrialization, and antilabor policies that has led to the erosion of earning and bargaining power of workers in the U.S; and
- the greatest income inequality since the 1920's.

It calls climate change a direct threat to the national security of the United States citing the impact of the economic, environmental, and social stability of other countries and communities around the world.

The proposal recognizes that Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and F.D.R's New Deal created the greatest middle class that the U.S. has ever seen during 1945 until the late 1970's, but many members of vulnerable communities were excluded from many of the economic and societal benefits that came from such mobilizations.

The resolution calls on Congress to create the Green New Deal, which should achieve the following goals:
- achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;
- create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;
- invest in the infrastructure and industry of the U.S. to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;
- secure for all people of the United States for generations to come clean air and water, healthy food, access to nature, a sustainable environment, and climate and community resiliency.

The Green New Deal Resolution calls for a set of projects which will help achieve its goals, these include:
- Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;
- Providing all people of the United States with high-quality affordable health care, housing and economic security;
- Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States;
- building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and “smart” power grids, and ensuring affordable access to electricity;
- upgrading all existing buildings in the U.S. and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, and affordability;
- working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including supporting family farming, investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health, and building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food;
- overhauling transportation systems to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing, clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and a high-speed rail;
- cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites, ensuring economic development and sustainability on those sites;
- promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal; among others.

"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan. We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy," said Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, author of the Resolution. "Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us."

Data for Progress, a progressive think tank composed of a multidisciplinary group of experts using state of the art data science techniques to support progressive activists and causes, has played an integral role in helping build the proposal and believes that even if the legislation is not passed during this Congressional session, its imperative to continue building the proposal and help build the vision for the future democratic party.

"Over the next two years, we can turn this into a comprehensive set of legislation ready for the next President to sign into law in 2021,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data For Progress.These are principles that every elected Democrat in the country should be able to adhere to. There is no viable path to the Democratic nomination for someone who does not."

The resolution has received mixed responses from Congress members. Democrats are supporting the cause, having three of the major contenders for the 2020 presidential campaign supporting it, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Senator Warren, rekeased her own legislation aiming to tax millionaires, and has said it could help support the Green New Deal financially.

“Think about this. If we taxed people, families, that have more than $50 million in assets if we charged them two percent a year and they put that back in the to help build opportunity for everybody else. We could pay for universal childcare. We could bring down student loan debt. We could make a big down payment on a Green New Deal. We could make the investments that make this country work, and that’s for me what this is all about,” said Sen. Warren (D-MA).

Republicans overwhelmingly oppose it. President Trump tweeted that the legislation would eliminate all planes, cars, cows, oil, gas and the military because of its proposal.

“We should be open to the fact that wealth transfer schemes suggested in the radical policies like the Green New Deal may not be the best path to community prosperity and preparedness,” said Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL).

Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist and secretary of energy under President Barack Obama, told NPR that the plan of eliminating carbon emissions in a ten-year time span might not be enough time to be successfully achieve its goal.

“It’s just impractical. And if we start putting out impractical targets, we may lose a lot of key constituencies who we need to bring along to have a real low-carbon solution on the most rapid time frame that we can achieve,” said Ernest Moniz, referring to key constituencies such as labor unions.

On Feb 18, 2018, Sen. Mitch McConnell has stated that he plans on releasing the resolution to be voted on the Senate floor, where Republicans currently hold a majority and it's likely to fail.

H.Res.109

Sponsored by: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 67 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


S.Res.59

Sponsored by: Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 10 Dem / 1 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.


S.J.Res.8

Sponsored by: Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 0 Dem / 0 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.

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