FACT CHECK: Ocasio-Cortez Claims That Every Democratic Candidate For President Has Co-Sponsored The Green New Deal

Aryssa Damron | Fact Check Reporter

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed Saturday that “every Democratic presidential candidate” has co-sponsored her Green New Deal.

Verdict: False

While nearly all congressional Democrats running for president in 2020 have co-sponsored the Green New Deal, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has not. Outside of Congress, not all Democratic candidates have expressed support for the plan either.

Fact Check:

Ocasio-Cortez introduced her Green New Deal to the House of Representatives Feb. 7. The non-binding resolution outlines a progressive agenda that, most notably, calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years.

“The first day, we were able to introduce a resolution in both chambers co-sponsored by every presidential candidate, every Democratic presidential candidate, and 65 House members,” Ocasio-Cortez said at an inaugural address Saturday in the Bronx, New York.

While embraced by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, the Green New Deal has been roundly criticized by conservatives, as well as some liberals, and would surely face opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump compared the resolution to a “high school term paper that got a low mark.”

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey introduced the resolution in the Senate with 11 co-sponsors, including every senator who has announced a run for president: Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also a co-sponsor of the resolution, announced Tuesday that he would seek the Democratic nomination for president, though he had not declared by the time Ocasio-Cortez made her claim.

Despite the support among 2020 contenders, another declared candidate, Gabbard – a Democratic member of the House – did not co-sponsor the Green New Deal. “I have some concerns with the Green New Deal, and about some of the vagueness of the language in there, so I have not co-sponsored that resolution,” she told ABC’s “The View” Wednesday.

Gabbard does, however, have a history of supporting environmentally-friendly initiatives. In 2017, she introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.

“We must do all we can to end our addiction to fossil fuels and deploy the technologies that will put America on the path toward a clean, sustainable energy future today and in the years to come. I call on my fellow lawmakers, and all Americans, to support the OFF Act to protect the people and our planet by committing to a 100 percent clean energy economy,” Gabbard said in a statement at the time.

Ocasio-Cortez also claimed Saturday that the resolution had 84 co-sponsors in the House now, a statistic she may have gotten from the environmental advocacy group Sunrise Movement. According to congressional records, the Green New Deal currently has 68 House co-sponsors. Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond to a request for comment, and Sunrise Movement insisted its figure is correct without providing any additional details.

Several other Democratic contenders for president, including John Delaney, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro, do not serve in Congress and therefore could not co-sponsor the Green New Deal.

Delaney, who left Congress in January 2019, said that he supports the idea of the Green New Deal but not the resolution itself. “I prefer a more specific, actionable plan to do something big on climate,” he told The Hill.

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Aryssa Damron

Fact Check Reporter