Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) said in an interview airing Sunday that the United States could afford trillion dollars of spending in the Green New Deal.
CNN host John King spoke to Harris and asked about the realism behind the proposals dominating the nascent Democratic primary, which appears to be a race to the left among Harris and the other leading candidates.
"If you talk to Democratic voters, they're hungry and they want ideas. So you'll hear things like the Green New Deal. You'll hear things like Medicare for all, you hear things whether it's taxes … at what point do you say that's our north star but we have to be realists?" King asked.
"There's no question we have to be practical. but being practical also recognizes that climate change is an existential threat to us," Harris responded. "Being practical recognizes that greenhouse gas emissions are threatening our air and threatening the planet and that it is well within our capacity as human beings to change our behaviors in a way that we can reduce its effects. That's practical."
"Can we afford it?" King asked.
"Of course we can afford it," Harris said.
Cost estimates for some of the provisions in the plan are in the range of trillions of dollars. Harris and other 2020 presidential candidates have lined up behind it, as well as "Medicare for all."
"Two-and-a-half trillion dollars, $3 trillion for Medicare for all by some studies. Depending on which portions of the Green New Deal you choose to do first, that's money. You know what Republicans are going to say, ‘tax and spend liberals, pie in the sky,'" King said.
Harris said the focus should not be about the cost of the plan but what the return on investment will be.
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