Ocasio-Cortez challenging the Democratic establishment and Her ‘Green New Deal’ Policies

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from CBS 60 Minutes,

The youngest woman ever elected to Congress tells 60 Minutes she thinks President Trump is racist and responds to criticisms she could be pushing the Democratic Party too far to the left.

Like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialist. She believes in universal healthcare, tuition-free public college, and massive government investment to combat climate change. She’s been described as both an inspiring and idealistic insurgent, and as a naïve and ill-informed newcomer — as the future of the Democratic party, and as a potential obstacle to its success. Few rookie members of Congress have put such bold ideas on the national agenda and stirred up so much controversy before they were sworn in.

A group of Bernie Sanders supporters who now call themselves Justice Democrats encouraged Ocasio-Cortez to run for office and gave her training and support. She built a grass-roots coalition that took on the Democratic machine by going door to door arguing that she could represent the district better than a ten-term incumbent who spent most of his time in Washington.

Just a few days later, as soon as she got to Washington, she paid a visit to climate change activists who were occupying her party leader Nancy Pelosi’s office. She was the only newly elected member of Congress who decided to drop by during the sit-in, and she called on Pelosi to create a select committee on climate change without any members of Congress who accept money from the fossil fuel industry.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Oh my goodness, I could have thrown up that morning. (LAUGH) I was so nervous. But— I kept kind of just coming back to the idea that what they’re fighting for wasn’t wrong. And I— I had also sat down with— with Leader Pelosi beforehand and she told me her story. She came from activism. And I knew that she would absolutely understand how advocacy can change the needle on really important issues.

Ocasio-Cortez and her allies managed to get more than 40 members of Congress to support the climate committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to create it, but it’s not nearly what Ocasio-Cortez had in mind. Pelosi granted the committee limited powers and did not ban members who take money from the fossil fuel industry.

For Ocasio-Cortez, it was an early lesson in congressional politics. And another one came when she defied Pelosi and voted against the speaker’s new House rules, but was not joined by many other progressive Democrats. Ocasio-Cortez told us she’s determined to keep fighting for what’s being called a “Green New Deal” — a highly ambitious, some would say “unrealistic,” proposal that would convert the entire U.S. Economy to renewable sources of energy in just 12 years, while guaranteeing every American a job at a fair wage.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez leads push for Green New Deal as the way forward on climate change

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