Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti dropped a shocking admission on the congresswoman’s Green New Deal when he said it was never intended to change or “fix” the climate.
According to a new report from the Washington Post, Chakrabarti unexpectedly disclosed that: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.”
The comment came during a meeting between Chakrabarti and Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington Governor and 2020 presidential candidate Jay Inslee.
“Congrats on the rollout,” Chakrabarti said to Ricketts, speaking of Inslee’s campaign launch with a focus on the environment. “That was pretty great.”
“Thank you again for the kudos you guys offered,” Ricketts responded per the Washington Post. “We wanted to be pace-setting for the field, and I think we’re there now. … I want to ask you for input … in addition to hearing what you guys are working on.”
.@JayInslee’s climate plan is the most serious + comprehensive one to address our crisis in the 2020 field.
It meets key marks:
✅ Big enough
✅ Fast enough
✅ Economically stimulating for working people
✅ Acknowledges injustice + w/ an eye to make communities whole https://t.co/C7nyEsdUxk
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 18, 2019
That’s when Chakrabarti dropped his stunning admission, adding: “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
“Yeah,” Ricketts answered before changing his answer to, “No.” And, then: “I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity. More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability, and justice throughout.”
And, per the report:
Chakrabarti liked the answer. “The thing I think you guys are doing that’s so incredible is … you guys are actually figuring out how to do it and make it work, the comprehensive plan where it all fits together,” he said. “I’d love to get into a situation where everyone’s trying to just outdo each other.” But Chakrabarti couldn’t help adding: “I’ll be honest, my view is I still think you guys aren’t going big enough.”
Ricketts seemed unfazed by the critique. “Well, you know, we’re not done. When it comes to a nationwide economic mobilization, there’s more to come on this front, for one. And other key components we’re going to be rolling forward speak to some of the key justice elements of this … ensuring every community’s got a part of this.”
The Washington Free Beacon reports Chakrabarti previously worked for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign before founding Justice Democrats, a political action committee which helped Ocasio-Cortez win her congressional seat.
The report notes the Green New Deal could have relatively no impact on the environment, confirming the chief of staff’s admission that the proposal is not about the environment anyway:
A study found that the Green New Deal, if adopted, would cost up to $94 trillion, and a report suggested that it would have “no effect” on the climate while imposing massive social and economic costs. Despite this, Democratic presidential candidates have spoken favorably about and endorsed the legislation, with Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) comparing it to fighting Nazis or putting a man on the moon.
Sanders also defended the deal, saying, “You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change. The future of the planet is at stake.”