Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is angling for a 2020 presidential run, is not lending a wholehearted endorsement to the Green New Deal.
Warren revealed the launch of her presidential exploratory committee on the last day of 2018, a likely sign that she will try to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. The announcement came after rampant speculation that the senior senator from Massachusetts would ultimately make a bid for the White House after handily winning re-election in the 2018 midterms.
“Most of us want the same thing: To be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules and take care of the people we love,” Warren said in her campaign video. “And that’s why today I am launching an exploratory committee for president.”
If she ultimately throws her hat in the ring, Warren would likely stand out as one of the most liberal politicians among the 2020 Democratic contenders. The progressive lawmaker has openly advocated for a single-payer health care system, supports the implementation of a government-run pharmaceutical manufacturer, and has positioned herself as the Senate’s most ardent critic of Wall Street.
However, it’s not immediately clear how deeply Warren is invested in what is becoming a growing cause for the Democratic Party: Climate change.
Warren’s office did not articulate an outright endorsement for the Green New Deal, a broad set of proposals championed by New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and environmentalist groups. The “deal” consists of the formation of a select committee on climate change and an aggressive transition of the U.S. power market to renewable energy. The proposal, which still lacks specifics, could cost trillions of dollars and serve as the largest government expansion since the Great Society or New Deal.
Instead, the Massachusetts senator supports the “idea” of the Green New Deal.
“Senator Warren has been a longtime advocate of aggressively addressing climate change and shifting toward renewables, and supports the idea of a Green New Deal to ambitiously tackle our climate crisis, economic inequality, and racial injustice,” a Warren aide told Axios in a Tuesday report.
The phrasing likely gives her wiggle room as Warren formulates her own climate change agenda. The senator’s hesitation to fully support the Green New Deal, however, puts her at odds with a growing faction of her party. Over 40 Democrats have now announced their support for the proposal, and climate change is expected to be a paramount issue for Democratic presidential contestants.
Despite boasting a 99 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, Warren has been criticized for not pushing a clear climate change agenda of her own.
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