Mar 14, 2019

House GOP leaders push back against Green New Deal

Top House Republicans are urging Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold hearings on the Green New Deal as they seek to cast the progressive policy as bad for poor Americans.

Why it matters: This effort, which includes a letter and press conference on Thursday, represents congressional Republicans' most detailed response yet to Democrats' push on climate change since last year's election. While largely symbolic, this back-and-forth shows just how quickly the issue has gone from Washington's back burner to front burner.

Driving the news: Signers of the letter include Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon and Oklahoma's Frank Lucas, top Republicans on the Energy and Commerce and Agriculture committees, respectively. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is also set to be at the press conference.

  • The Green New Deal is not an actual bill, but instead a non-binding resolution laying out broad goals aimed at drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions along with other progressive policies, like a federal jobs guarantee and universal health care.
  • Republicans say the policies would hike energy prices across the board.
  • "Taken together, we fear the Green New Deal would hurt Americans struggling to make ends meet — the very people it purports to help," the letter states.

The other side: Backers of the Green New Deal, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), say the policy would help fix inequality by creating jobs transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

Where it stands: Because the resolution is not detailed, actually knowing its economic impact is hard at this point. Republicans cite a study by the right-leaning think tank American Action Forum to say the costs could reach $93 trillion. Politico did a piece describing that number as "bogus."

Reality check: Reducing greenhouse gases will come at a cost because they're emitted from almost every facet of our lives. The tough task is ensuring these costs don't unduly hurt the people who can least afford it, and yet is still significant enough to actually address the problem.

What they're saying: So far, Republicans aren't offering any new policy ideas in lieu of the Green New Deal to address climate change, but they are talking about it more. At hearings over the last few weeks, Republicans have talked up how they support nuclear power and hydropower as examples of what they have long supported in this area.

What's next: Backers of the Green New Deal, including the youth-led Sunrise Movement, are hosting a series of talks around the country as they attempt to rally support for the proposal.

Go deeper

CDC: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," but more data is needed

CDC Director Robert Redfield briefs reporters on April 8. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus antibody tests are still relatively unreliable, and scientists still aren't sure whether people who get the virus are immune to getting it again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned on Tuesday.

What they're saying: The agency explicitly warned against using antibody tests to determine whether someone should return to work or to group people within schools or prisons.

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,584,091 — Total deaths: 349,894 — Total recoveries — 2,284,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,680,301 — Total deaths: 98,875 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy