Sanders to join Ocasio-Cortez in headlining Green New Deal rally Monday

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will join Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in headlining a rally Monday to support the Green New Deal resolution, a progressive proposal that calls for sweeping reforms to combat climate change.

Monday’s rally at Howard University will mark the end of the Sunrise Movement’s nationwide “Road to a Green New Deal Tour.” About 1,500 people are expected to attend, including Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who introduced the Green New Deal earlier this year with Ocasio-Cortez.

{mosads}The news comes days after Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez announced legislation proposing new restraints on predatory lenders. Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders on Thursday unveiled the measure, which would cap credit card and consumer loan interest rates at 15 percent.

Ocasio-Cortez this week also said she’s “entertaining” the idea of throwing her support behind a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, saying that Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) appear to be strong options.

Monday’s rally comes as climate change has emerged as one of the top issues in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Both Sanders, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and Ocasio-Cortez have criticized in recent days a reported plan by former Vice President Joe Biden that is being pegged as a “middle ground” approach to addressing global warming.

“There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy. If we don’t commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations,” Sanders tweeted on Friday following reports of Biden’s plan. “Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not.”

Ocasio-Cortez called reports of Biden seeking compromise on the issue a “dealbreaker.”

“This is a dealbreaker. There is no ‘middle ground’ w/ climate denial & delay. Blaming ‘blue collar’ Americans as the main opponents to bold climate policy is gas lobbyist 101,” she tweeted of the Democratic presidential contender’s reported plan. “We’re not going to solve the climate crisis w/ this lack of leadership. Our kids’ lives are at stake.”

Biden’s campaign pushed back earlier in the day after Reuters reported that the former vice president was working on an alternative climate policy to Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.

Biden, one of a few Democratic 2020 contenders who have not openly endorsed the Green New Deal, has appeared to resist reports of his plans to announce a so-called “middle ground” policy, pointing out his own previous support for environmental legislation and promising more details on his plan.

“I’m proud to have been one of the first to introduce climate change legislation. What I fought for in 1986 is more important than ever — climate change is an existential threat. Now. Today,” he tweeted.

“We need policies that reflect this urgency. I’ll have more specifics on how America can lead on climate in the coming weeks,” Biden added.

His campaign’s communications director, Bill Russo, added to the denials, tweeting simply, “Reuters got it wrong.”

Ocasio-Cortez has previously come out against other climate proposals offered by members of her party that in her view either insufficiently deal with carbon emissions or put off the deadline for reaching zero carbon emissions. In April, she criticized a plan offered by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is also running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Beto O'Rourke Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden

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