Politico

Sherrod Brown separates from Dem pack on Medicare, 'Green New Deal' proposals

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is declining to say whether he supports “Medicare for all” and “Green New Deal” ideas proposals pushed by other members of his party as he considers a run for president, saying he doesn’t need to weigh in to underscore that he’s progressive.

Brown has been pressed on the health care and climate change ideas as he’s toured early primary states and fielded questions from voters and reporters. He has said that he broadly supports the philosophies of expanding Medicare and fighting climate change. Senate colleagues running for president, including Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, have gotten behind the proposals.

“There are going to be all kinds of specific legislation on all kinds of issues coming out of a very energized, new group of members of Congress,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “That will continue for the next year. There will be all kinds of bills sponsored by individual presidential candidates. … I’m not going to take position on every bill that’s coming out. I support a green new deal. I think we need to aggressively support climate change [legislation]. That’s my answer.”

Brown has said he would prefer to see incremental changes to Medicare like lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 55 or 50.

“I want to get something done for people now,” Brown said, before touting long-held positions against the Iraq War and NAFTA and for same-sex marriage. “So I don’t need to co-sponsor every bill that others think they need to co-sponsor to show my progressive politics. Brown continued.

“I’m not going to get in the position every time someone has a really good idea or a big idea I have to talk in great detail on my position on it,” Brown said. “I know the easy thing to do is say, ‘Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes,’ but I don’t know that that serves my constituents. As a progressive, I’m not going to get in this race and change my positions and go like that with people.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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