- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2022

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged the White House to take action on climate change after Democrats’ last hope for a climate bill derailed in the Senate.

The New York Democrat said congressional failure to pass climate change legislation makes it President Biden’s responsibility to do something.

“We have communicated over a dozen executive orders to the president,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said Friday. “Everything from declaring a national emergency to using his authority to really shaping his approach to how fossil fuels get authorized, how vehicles are authorized, there’s [power] in the executive branch and I think it is time to use it.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s demand for presidential action comes after Sen. Joe Manchin III pulled his support for climate and tax provisions, effectively killing those items in a party-line spending bill that had been negotiated for months. 

The West Virginia Democrat, who is a key vote in the 50-50 split Sente, said his main concern was worsening the inflation rate, which hit a 41-year record high of 9.1% in June.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said inflation rates were supply-driven and blamed corporations and big banks for the rise in U.S. prices, rather than government spending which some economists say has added to inflation.

“The Federal Reserve and big banks are trying to convince the whole country and dupe everyday Americans that inflation is happening because the government did too much for them,” she said. 

She also said if Mr. Biden did not pursue executive action, it would show voters that Democrats did not deliver on promises.

“We really need to use our executive authority to show the American people that when you give Democrats power, we will use it,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “We have tried. The president has tried every single legislative path possible, and it is not working in the Senate.”

Constitutionally, Congress is the governmental body that has the spending power, meaning Mr. Biden is limited in what he can do when it comes to spending money.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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