Democrat $3.5 Trillion Budget Bill Fulfills AOC Dream of a Civilian Climate Corps

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) smiles as Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on "An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors" in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on October 23, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm …
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Democrats announced Monday they would include federal funding to create a new Civilian Climate Corps.

The program would use taxpayer dollars to pay for a host of young people to fight climate change, a longtime dream of socialist Democrats and environmental advocates. The exact cost has not been detailed, but Democrats said it would be part of $135 billion additional funding to the Department of Agriculture.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) first included the idea in the Green New Deal.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (L) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) (R) hug each other as other Congressional Democrats look on during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 07: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (L) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) (R) hug each other as other Congressional Democrats look on during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ocasio-Cortez further detailed it in May, noting it would employ 1.5 million young Americans, paying them $15 an hour to “reduce carbon emissions, enable a transition to renewable energy, build healthier and more resilient communities, implement conservation projects with proven climate benefits, and help communities recover from climate disasters.”

Biden warmed to the idea after his climate czar, John Kerry, endorsed it.

He spoke about the climate corp during a meeting with Western governors addressing the issue of wildfires:

When I — when it was proposed to me by some folks that we should have a Civilian Climate Corps of thousands of young people trained to do these things and — at first, it didn’t — you know, I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, that sounds good.’ And then I started looking at it. And the truth of it is, it’s not fundamentally different, in terms of the help it can provide across the board training a lot of these — I’m talking about thousands of young people getting paid to be trained and trained well.

Biden said the idea would be a modern version of the Civilian Corp that former President Franklin Roosevelt created during the Great Depression.

He admitted the idea might be too expensive, but indicated it could help fight wildfires by reducing climate change.

“Take a look at it and see if you think I’m — you know, I may have — you know, as my mother would say, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. You know that I may have a bigger appetite,” he said in his online video meeting with governors. “But I really think it can be helpful.”

Advocates of the Climate Corps see it as a way to get more young people on board with the idea of climate change, giving them a common purpose.

“It’s the one thing this country needs more than anything else, and that’s common experiences and to focus on the things that bind us together, not just divide us,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) told Biden during their meeting. “This transcends politics.”

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