Ilhan Omar Pitches $1 Trillion For Green Living


>>Representative Ilhan Omar has released
details of her new green housing plan. Here she is announcing some of her approaches.>>One of the first things I noticed when
I came to the United States were people sleeping on the side of the streets and I have been
on a mission ever since to make sure that there are no humans left in that situation. Today I’m excited to introduce the Homes for
All Act which will fulfil the promise of a homes guarantee by building 12 million new
public housing and private, permanently affordable rental units. Vastly expanding the available affordable
housing stock, driving down costs throughout the market and creating a new vision of what
public housing looks like in the United States of America. We will prohibit any discrimination against
residents based on sexual orientation, gender and criminal history or immigration status. The bill also creates a new anti-displacement
fund with HUD in order to protect families from gentrification, prevent displacement
and stabilize neighborhoods. And it makes public housing a mandatory part
of our budget like Social Security and Medicare. All of this will be built to the highest environmental
standards making this a key part of the Green New Deal.>>And I’m glad that she focused on that,
this is considered to be a public housing component of the Green New Deal. Residences, real estate does contribute quite
a bit to our overall warming.>>So I wanna talk about the scope of the
problem. There are now more US households that rent
than at any point since 1965, so obviously part of the problem is housing costs too much. And so, and it’s not just in the big cities,
in rural areas as well there’s now a growing homelessness problem in South Dakota. So we desperately need more housing in this
country, and she’s trying to do it in a way that is both ambitious but also realistic
and environmentally conscious so it hits a lot of birds with one stone. But this is the stat that really stunned me. A renter working 40 hours a week and earning
the federal minimum wage can afford a two bedroom apartment in how many counties across
the nation? So we’re getting the federal minimum wage,
just a two bedroom apartment. I mean, you’re not gonna be able to do that,
get it in New York or San Francisco that’s obvious, right? So how many counties can you get a two bedroom
apartment in that situation working 40 hours a week? Zero, not a single county in the country. The federal minimum wage is $7.25, it’s a
little over $15,000 a year. You cannot afford a two bedroom apartment
anywhere in the country, that’s amazing. So what progressives are doing and I love
that they’re going in this direction is pointing out the real problems of Americans and trying
to fix them. That is what your representatives are supposed
to do. So, meanwhile, the Republicans are like, I
don’t know, another tax here for the rich. I’m not kidding Donald Trump, in one of his
last ditch proposals kept talking before the impeachment began. He’s like, another tax cut for the rich and
that tax cut that he was contemplating would’ve actually given a higher percentage of the
money to the rich than even the last $2 trillion tax cut.>>Yeah.>>Unbelievable, whereas this actually helps
real people. So the only thing that they ever have in these
scenarios is they’re like, I don’t know how we’re gonna pay for that. Taxes for the rich, no problem, can pay for
it anytime. You wanna help real Americans and create 12
million homes, how are we gonna pay for that? So that’s all they got, so this will actually
help real Americans.>>No, that’s a great point. The last thing you said is also so true which
is all they got is the tax cut for the rich. And it’ll trickle down to those people who
need housing and all the other things that are now becoming so elusive in America. Look this Green New Deal, I get into these
tug of wars with people over all the time, but I just think it’s full of goals and ideals
that have to be reflected in the future. Otherwise, there is no future. I love everything that’s wrapped in this including
the environmental side.>>Yeah.>>So it really should be pointed out one
other part of the bill. It repeals the Faircloth Amendment was passed
in 1999. If you were wondering what that is, don’t
worry, not a lot of people know about it. What it did was, it stopped funding public
housing, so they cut off funding of building new housing. But on top of that, they severely limited
what we could spend to upkeep that housing. So now all that public housing has been in
great decline cuz we can’t spend any money to just do simple repairs and do upkeep, etc. And then the Republicans turn around and go
look at public housing. You see, it’s in decrepit shape. It is because you cut off all the funding.>>Yeah.>>So this would restore that so that it would
give the current public funding a fair chance to make situations there a lot more livable. And again since it helps poor Americans, the
Republicans have no interest in it at all. But by the way, it’s not just Republicans,
as HuffPost points out, centrist Democrats of course, also opposed to this plan. Because it wouldn’t help their donors at all. These people in public housing don’t donate
to them ever. So they’re like, why would we support that?>>Yeah.>>I also think that Cenk’s point about the
public housing situation and loosing funding is an important one for the general thing
they do, I mean it really fund it a lot. They defund Federal programs and then point
to what a failure they are. This is a real move that you find on the right
and among the GOP. And as Cenk says, even, frankly, under some
moderate Democrat leadership that can lead to the privatization and even the elimination
of a lot of Federal programs.>>Yeah, and I just wanna say one final thing
and it’s I wanna focus on the first thing that Representative Omar said in that video. We’ve grown accustomed to so much in this
country and compared to the experience of people who live in places like Norway, and
other parts of Europe, she grew up in Somalia, the war-torn region. They had to go to refugee camps, and then
finally they get the chance to emigrate to the US. And the first thing she notices as a child
who’s been through all of that hell is there’s a lot of people sleeping on the side of the
streets in America, the richest country in the history of the world.>>Yeah, I thought it was powerful. The sense I got was she was basically saying,
America gave me a home, and now it’s my turn to return the favor. And that’s super powerful, and that’s what’s
the best of America.

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