It makes no sense to call Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or people who care about the environment, elitist. And yet that is what Republican lawmakers —led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — accused her of being when they presented an unfinished New Green Deal bill to the House floor. But true to form, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, gave them an authoritative declaration that lives are at risk.
Sen. McConnell forced lawmakers to vote on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s New Green Deal proposal, before it was ready, in an attempt to not only disqualify her and the environmental movement but to discredit them as well.
As the GOP paraded an immature presentation against the bill, which included animated pictures of seahorses and posters of Aquaman, they said babies were the answer to fight against climate change. It was pretty unbelievable.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) March 26, 2019
“GOP Senators are using their Congressional allowances to print Aquaman poster for themselves to argue that a #GreenNewDeal saving our nation from climate change is a ‘waste of money,'” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after the fact. But it was her response to the bill’s rejection, and the GOP lawmakers that said those who want to fight climate change are elitist that got her fired up.
“This is not an elitist issue, this is a quality of life issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said to them sternly. “You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the south Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint.”
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 27, 2019
She later tweeted, “The GOP’s climate delaying is costing us lives + destroying communities. Iowa, Nebraska & many in the Midwest are catastrophically flooded right now, in one of the 1st major climate change disasters of 2019. A #GreenNewDeal urges us to pursue a plan on the scale of the problem.”
The bill was rejected with 57 senators voting against it, while 43 Democrats and independents didn’t cast a vote but simply voted as “present.” This was their way of blocking a vote. The bill needed 60 votes to pass. As CNBC reports, four senators that typically vote with Democrats, voted against the bill.
“Republicans want to force this political stunt to distract from the fact that they neither have a plan nor a sense of urgency to deal with the threat of climate change,” Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, according to the New York Post. “It’s a political act. It’s a political stunt.”