Kamala Harris endorses Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’

Kamala Harris endorses Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick Harris, Ocasio-Cortez push climate equity bill with Green New Deal roots Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday endorsed the "Green New Deal," a proposal that sets a goal of getting 100 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable energy.

"I support a Green New Deal," she said during a CNN town hall in Iowa. 

"Climate change is an existential threat to us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it," she added.

Harris, who hadn't previously thrown her support behind the proposal popularized by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Harris, Ocasio-Cortez push climate equity bill with Green New Deal roots Young minority voters show overwhelming support for Biden: poll MORE (D-N.Y.), doubled down on the endorsement in a tweet Monday night following her remark at the town hall.

"I support a Green New Deal. Climate change is an existential threat to all of us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it," she tweeted.

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Harris became the latest high-profile Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate to indicate some level of support for the Green New Deal, joining Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Progressives soaring after big primary night MORE (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package MORE (D-Mass.) as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Harris, Gillibrand, Warren and Castro are also each running or exploring a run for president.

The Green New Deal has attracted the support of a number of progressives. Last year, Ocasio-Cortez proposed that House Democrats create a select committee for a Green New Deal. She has pushed for such goals in the new Congress along with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.).

During the town hall Monday night, Harris also said lawmakers "who are in the pocket of big coal and big oil" don't fully understand the risk of climate change and said children "need to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water."

"I think that the fact that we have policymakers who are in the pockets of big oil and big coal don't fully appreciate the fact that we are looking at something that is presenting an existential threat to our country," Harris said.

"And, listen, all children need to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and we've got to have a commitment to a policy that will allow that to happen for ourselves and our children and our grandchildren. And right now we don't," she added.