Ocasio-Cortez defends climate provisions in spending bill: 'I have to live in this future'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Missouri House Democrat becomes latest to test positive for COVID-19 Louisiana Rep. Troy Carter announces positive COVID-19 test MORE (D-N.Y.) is defending the importance of climate change provisions in Democrats’ budget reconciliation package, saying as the youngest member of the progressive caucus, she will have to “live in this future.” 

In an interview for Showtime’s "The Circus" shared in advance exclusively with The Hill, the New York Democrat sought to warn against the risks of “rushing” the social spending legislation as Democrats fiercely debate what will make the final version.

“There’s always this idea of ‘progressives don’t compromise' — we’re being petulant children,” Ocasio-Cortez said.


“If we rush it, the risks of doing that is that we could lose everything — health care, Medicaid. And for me, most importantly is climate,” she continued. “As the youngest member of this caucus, I think sometimes what’s hard for some of my peers to understand is that I have to live in this future that they are willing to set on fire.”

President BidenJoe BidenNew York woman arrested after allegedly spitting on Jewish children Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE on Thursday introduced to congressional Democrats a greatly slimmed down Build Back Better reconciliation framework that includes more than $500 billion in climate provisions, including $320 billion in clean energy tax credits and $130 for renewable energy development.

The proposal also includes $105 billion for environmental resilience, such as funding for extreme weather events like wildfires and hurricanes. 

However, the proposal made no mention of a methane fee or carbon tax, both of which were progressive-backed ideas that had been opposed by key centrist Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinLawmaker arrested amid voting rights protest says he'd 'do it again' No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week MORE (D-W.Va.).

This week’s episode of "The Circus," airing Sunday at 8 p.m., is set to focus on the push to find common ground on the package.

The episode is also set to include interviews from Manchin, as well as progressive Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSenate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Overnight Defense & National Security — DOD watchdog to review extremism screening Omar calls for closure of Guantánamo Bay prison after 20 years of 'lawlessness and cruelty' MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer House Democrats inquire about possible census undercount in Detroit, other communities Michigan redistricting spat exposes competing interests in Democratic coalition MORE (D-Mich.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service Trump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple MORE (D-Mass.).