As Number of Dems Backing Green New Deal Swells to 18, Campaigners Demand All of Party 'Stand Up to Fossil Fuel Billionaires'

Lauren Maunus of the Sunrise Movement speaks at a press conference Friday announcing the growing support for the Green New Deal. (Photo: Emelia Gold)

As Number of Dems Backing Green New Deal Swells to 18, Campaigners Demand All of Party 'Stand Up to Fossil Fuel Billionaires'

"This is not just about a Green New Deal, this is about a New Deal for the United States of America," says Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

With 18 members of Congress now backing the proposed House Select Committee on a Green New Deal, climate activists expressed hope Friday that the swelling support can push the nation "toward justice and a livable future for all."

Some of those lawmakers, including committee-proposer Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined the campaigners at a press conference on Capitol Hill to highlight that growing support.

"This is not just about a Green New Deal, this is about a New Deal for the United States of America," said Ocasio-Cortez. "Because in every moment when our country has reached the depths of darkness, in every moment when we were at the brink, at the cusp of an abyss and we did not know if we would be capable of saving ourselves, we have."

"The push for a Green New Deal," added Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, "is about more than natural resources and jobs. It's about our most precious commodity--people, families, children, our future."

In recent actions organized by the youth-led Sunrise Movement, thousands of people have swarmed the offices of Democratic lawmakers to demand they back a Green New Deal. One included a sit-in at the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to urge Democratic leadership to commit to a climate plan in line with the crisis's scale and urgency.

"Tens of thousands of young people have rushed to join our movement since Ocasio-Cortez proposed the Select Committee on a Green New Deal. The enthusiasm from young voters is clear: Pelosi and the Democratic leadership must put the Green New Deal at the top of the agenda for the new Congress in January," said Sunrise co-founder and spokesperson Varshini Prakash.

The group put out a graphic indicating the Democrats who've already announced their support, as well as a growing list of organizations backing the committee:

Organizations endorsing the Green New Deal
The activists have no plans to let up on the pressure. With Congress's last day of session fast approaching, "we have just days to make sure a Green New Deal is front and center on the House's agenda."

As such, they've set Dec. 10 to be a day of action "to tell all Congressional Democrats: We need to see enthusiastic and explicit support for the Select Committee on a Green New Deal. There are #NoExcuses for anything less. Politicians who don't have the spine to stand up to the fossil fuel billionaires that bankroll Congress don't deserve to lead. The world is watching us."

Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, will join Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) climate crisis town hall on Monday to talk about the Green New Deal.

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