Dec 11, 2018

A tweaked "Green New Deal" gains new House backer

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Rep. Jim McGovern, a senior Democrat, has thrown his support behind the "Green New Deal" committee proposed by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and backed by a movement of young activists.

Between the lines: Vigorous outside pressure can affect inside baseball in Congress. McGovern, the incoming House Rules Committee chair, voiced support in comments to Sunrise Movement demonstrators who poured into Capitol Hill, and later confirmed it on Twitter. It came on a day when scores of young activists were arrested in demonstrations on Capitol Hill, where they targeted offices of lawmakers including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Why it matters: The Rules Committee will play an important nuts and bolts role in shaping the select committee on the topic.

  • Ocasio-Cortez and supporters envision the select committee to be a vehicle for crafting a sweeping energy, jobs and climate plan that's ready for launch in 2020.

But, but, but: It's unclear exactly how the proposed Select Committee for a Green New Deal would function. Some veteran Democrats — notably incoming Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone — criticize calls for a new committee. McGovern says he wants to balance the new panel with existing committees' turf.

  • "We’re saying this select committee can come up with ideas, but it will go through the committees of jurisdiction. There’s nothing wrong with that, this is how this process works," he told demonstrators on Capitol Hill Monday.

The intrigue: Ocasio-Cortez's proposal has changed slightly, possibly to ease territorial tensions.

  • Under the current version, the panel would prepare a detailed plan and draft bill. However, it would not have "legislative jurisdiction" and "no authority to take legislative action on any bill or resolution."
  • The initial version of her proposed resolution would have given the committee full legislative power.
  • A Sunrise spokesman told Axios last night that the change occurred a week and a half ago.

My thought bubble: Momentum behind the "Green New Deal" is certainly growing — roughly two dozen House Democrats support it.

But the true level of support won't become fully known for quite some time, because the "Green New Deal" is really at least 3 things right now:

  • A slogan that captures the demand for very aggressive policies.
  • A set of broad policy proposals, including relatively quick movement to 100% renewable electricity.
  • A set of process ideas around how the committee should function, including the power to craft a detailed draft bill.

Go deeper: Democrats face climate decisions

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 32,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 32,000 people around the world — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections, with more than 125,000 by noon on Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. surpassed on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 685,623 — Total deaths: 32,137 — Total recoveries: 145,706.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 125,313 — Total deaths: 2,197 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week.
  6. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Fixing America's broken coronavirus supply chain

Polowczyk speaks at a coronavirus briefing at the White House, March 23. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The senior Navy officer now in charge of fixing America's coronavirus supply chain is trying to fill the most urgent needs: ventilators and personal protective gear. But barely a week into his role at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he's still trying to establish what's in the pipeline and where it is.

Driving the news: "Today, I, as leader of FEMA's supply chain task force, am blind to where all the product is," Rear Adm. John Polowczyk tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow26 mins ago - Health