Former Vice President Joe Biden said he does not support the Green New Deal during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, though his website calls the costly proposal a “crucial framework” for solving climate change.
The Democratic presidential nominee said that he has his own plan for taking climate change, placing some distance between himself and the Green New Deal, which was put forward in 2019 by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Biden’s website calls Green New Deal critical to understanding how the former vice president intends to approach climate change.
“I don’t support the Green New Deal,” Biden responded after Fox News host Chris Wallace asked him about the Green New Deal. “I support the Biden plan I put forward.”
The Green New Deal resolution called for “10-year national mobilizations” toward addressing climate change. A fact sheet published alongside the proposal in 2019 said the plan would “mobilize every aspect of American society on a scale not seen since World War 2.” The plan also calls for achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years and expanding welfare programs.
Trump interjected after Biden declined to support the full Green New Deal, calling the former vice president’s comment “a big statement” that could cost him the support of “the radical left.”
“Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” the campaign’s website notes. “It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan,” it added before explaining how the United States must “embrace greater ambition on an epic scale.”
“The plan also shows how our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected,” Biden’s website said.
Biden rolled out his climate plan in July as part of the Build Back Better agenda, which pushes for $2 trillion in federal spending over four years on several green energy initiatives and infrastructure projects, including a public transit systems in cities with more than 100,000 people, green spaces and water systems, new electricity grids and universal broadband.
His campaign also proposed the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and upgrading millions of buildings to be more energy efficient.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal could cost up to $93 trillion over 10 years, according to a 2019 report from right-leaning group American Action Forum (AAF). That amounts to roughly $36,100 to $65,300 per American household per year to meet the lofty proposal’s goals, AAF reported in February 2019.
Republicans in the Senate torpedoed her plan in March 2019 as Democrats called the vote a dog-and-pony show. The GOP defeated the proposal 57-0; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill a socialistic ploy designed to kill the economy.
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