NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, on Tuesday, Republican Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin suggested the Green New Deal only served the wealthy.
REP. SEAN DUFFY: [I think we should not] focus on the rich, wealthy elites, who will look at this and go, “I love it, because I’ve — I’ve got big money in the bank. Everyone should do this. We should all sign on to it.” But if you’re a poor family just trying to make ends meet, it’s a horrible idea.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York shot back with a passionate defense of the Green New Deal.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO–CORTEZ: When we talk about the concern of the environment as an elitist concern, one year ago I was waitressing in a taco shop in Downtown Manhattan. I just got health insurance for the first time a month ago. This is not an elitist issue; this is a quality-of-life issue. 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, whose kids have — their blood is ascending in lead levels. Their brains are damaged for the rest of their lives. Call them elitist. You’re telling them that those kids are trying to get on a plane to Davos? People are dying. They are dying.
And the response across the other side of the aisle is to introduce an amendment five minutes before a hearing in a markup? This is serious. This should not be a partisan issue. This is about our constituents and all of our lives. Iowa, Nebraska, broad swaths of the Midwest are drowning right now, underwater. Farms, towns that will never be recovered and never come back. And we’re here, and people are more concerned about helping oil companies than helping their own families? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. This is about our lives. This is about American lives. And it should not be partisan….