Ocasio-Cortez forced to clarify Green New Deal details after rollout

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Environmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz MORE (D-N.Y.) and her aides are rushing to clarify details of her recently proposed Green New Deal (GND) after an FAQ sheet it released sparked an uproar. 

Ocasio-Cortez’s office sent a copy of the resolution this week as well as an embargoed FAQ sheet about the initiative to various media outlets, including The Hill. NPR published the FAQ sheet, which included provisions about eliminating air travel, guesswork surrounding cows’ flatulence and economic security for those who are “unable or unwilling to work.” 

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The document swiftly drew the ire of conservatives who said some of the policies in the FAQ document showed the GND was not a serious proposal.

“There are multiple doctored GND resolutions and FAQs floating around. There was also a draft version that got uploaded + taken down. There’s also draft versions floating out there,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday, attaching the proposal she introduced in the House. 

“When I talk about the GND, this is what I’m referring to - nothing else,” she added in another tweet, again linking to the legislation. 

The confusion first ballooned Friday evening when Robert Hockett, a Cornell law professor advising Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal, went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. When Carlson questioned some of the claims in the FAQ sheet put out by Ocasio-Cortez’s office, Hockett said the document he was citing was “erroneous” and “doctored.”

“So as best I can tell it appears that Tucker and I were referring to separate documents last night, as apparently there were many! The one that I know I and the Congresswoman were aware of was a hoax, about which the Congresswoman had tweeted. The one Tucker was referring to was apparently something else,” Hockett said in a statement to The Hill. 

“Since most of us who are involved in this wonderful new Green New Deal initiative were all over the news media yesterday excitedly discussing the big rollout of the day before, it was pretty much impossible for all of us to know about all of the same documents at the same time, so we did the best we could to address the ones we knew about when we could,” he added. 

“I’m very much hoping, in any event, that we might all turn to discussing the actual content of the actual Resolution onto which so many in Congress have signed very soon.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s office said that while doctored FAQ documents are circulating on the internet, the one it released was an unfinished draft that it had not intended to publish.

“There separately IS a doctored FAQ floating around. And an early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake (idea was to wait for launch, monitor q's, and rewrite that FAQ before publishing),” Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabati said.

“Mistakes happen when doing time launches like this coordinating multiple groups and collaborators. It's hard to have both a transparent and open process with many stakeholders while keeping all info locked down. But what’s in the resolution is the GND.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.