- Just weeks away from being sworn into office, Ocasio-Cortez joined a climate change protest outside of Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office on Tuesday.
- The protesters and Ocasio-Cortez called on Pelosi to create a new select committee on climate change, the Select Committee for a Green New Deal.
- Pelosi responded to the demonstration in a statement, vowing to take action to address climate change.
- Republicans seemed to take pleasure in seeing the Democratic leader challenged by the tenacious soon-to-be congresswoman.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not officially a member of Congress yet, but she’s already making waves in Washington.
Just weeks away from being sworn into office, Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday joined a climate change protest outside of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office, high-fiving activists as she pushed for her Green New Deal.
The protest, led in part by the progressive political group Justice Democrats and the environmental group Sunrise Movement, was designed to urge Democratic leadership to aggressively address climate change after winning a majority in the House in the 2018 midterms.
Speaking with the protesters, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting yourselves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation and our future. It’s so incredibly important.”
Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins sit-in in Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's office calling for efforts to combat climate change: "We don't have a choice." https://t.co/uEMkN3JpIz pic.twitter.com/tMaaFGL0hR
— ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2018
The protesters and Ocasio-Cortez called on Pelosi to create a new select committee on climate change, the Select Committee for a Green New Deal. The activists want the committee to have more teeth than the 2007 committee Pelosi established on the issue.
‘We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster’
Pelosi responded to the demonstration in a statement, vowing to take action to address climate change.
“We are inspired by the energy and activism of the many young activists and advocates leading the way on the climate crisis, which threatens the health, economic security and futures of all our communities,” Pelosi said.
“I have recommended to my House Democratic colleagues that we reinstate the select committee to address the climate crisis,” Pelosi added. “House Democrats ran on and won on our bold campaign for a $US1 trillion investment in our infrastructure that will make our communities more resilient to the climate crisis, while creating 16 million new good-paying jobs across the country.”
Pelosi also said she welcomed the presence of the activists and urged Capitol Police to allow them to continue to demonstrate and “participate in our democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter said Pelosi’s decision to reinstate the select committee is something she “fully” supports.
“We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, thanking Pelosi for the move.
But, echoing the demands of the activists from the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez also said the committee needs to have “a mandate to draft a Green New Deal plan by 2020” and “not have officials appointed to it that accept fossil fuel industry contributions.”
Based on a series of tweets, neither group seems satisfied with Pelosi’s statement, but they thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her support.
Not good enough. Pelosi is reinstating a 2007 committee tasked with investigating the harms of climate change.
We don't need more investigation. We need specific plans matching the urgency and scale mandated by the UN's IPCC report on catastrophic climate change. https://t.co/l3sr0tBT34
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) November 13, 2018
Nancy Pelosi is bringing a squirt gun to a wildfire. https://t.co/YQRMAutnfU
— Sunrise Movement ???? (@sunrisemvmt) November 13, 2018
‘Huh, well this is unconventional’
Ocasio-Cortez’s participation in Tuesday’s protest was a bold move for such an unseasoned politician. Pelosi is widely expected to once again assume the mantle of House Speaker and has long been one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington.
Republicans seemed to take pleasure in seeing the Democratic leader challenged by the tenacious soon-to-be congresswoman.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s national press secretary reportedly sent an email with a photo of Ocasio-Cortez at the protest with the subject, “huh, well this is unconventional.”