Sen. Kamala Harris cosponsored a climate bill with far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) just days before mainstream media outlets labeled the California Democrat a “moderate.”
Harris on August 6 unveiled the Climate Equity Act with Ocasio-Cortez, which promises to “boldly address the climate crisis” by tackling “environmental racism.” Some far-left groups lauded the legislation as setting the stage to eventually pass the Green New Deal, the freshman Democrat’s $94 trillion overhaul of the economy and environmental policies.
Just days after Harris teamed up with Ocasio-Cortez, a number of prominent media outlets touted her status as a centrist Democrat following her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate. The New York Times called Harris a “pragmatic moderate.” A Washington Post political columnist labeled her a “small-c conservative.” The Associated Press referred to her “relatively centrist record,” and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said Harris “comes from the middle of the road, moderate wing of the Democratic party.”
Harris, who was ranked the “most liberal” senator of 2019 by congressional watchdog GovTrack, earned widespread praise from far-left groups after releasing her bill with Ocasio-Cortez. Sunrise Movement, a progressive advocacy group that supports decriminalizing illegal border crossings, called the legislation “foundational to the Green New Deal.”
Ocasio-Cortez authored the Green New Deal—which calls for the “economic transformation” of the United States—in 2019. Ocasio-Cortez said the Climate Equity Act would work “just like the Green New Deal envisioned” in a press release issued by Harris.
Biden previously chose Ocasio-Cortez to lead his “climate change task force” in May. Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) praised the decision, saying the task force would lead the Democratic Party in a “transformational and progressive direction.” Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan refers to the Green New Deal as a “crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”