The Unites States will have “blood on our hands” if legislation isn’t passed outlawing climate change, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), suggested Tuesday.
During a House Oversight hearing with former secretary of State, John Kerry, and former secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, lawmakers debated the role of global warming on national security. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez suggested there’s a death toll to congressional inaction.
“Do you think that neglecting to address these threats is — could contribute to an American — the loss of American life?” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asked Hagel.
After Hagel responded affirmatively, AOC followed up: “And do you think that denial or even delaying in that action could cost us American lives?”
Hagel again said “Yes,” and then AOC moved on to Kerry: “Secretary Kerry do you think that appointing a federal panel that questions twenty six years of established climate science be responsible for the loss of American life?”
“It could be,” Kerry replied.
“So I think what we have laid out here is a very clear moral problem and in terms of leadership, if we fail to act, or even if we delay in acting, we will have blood on our hands?” AOC asked. “Um, I don’t know if you’re allowed to agree with that Secretary Kerry or Secretary Hagel, would would you agree with that assessment?”
“As long as we do nothing, congresswoman, we are complicit in our acts of omission and commission of what we’re doing to choose for our energy, etc. and we’re going to contribute to people dying, we’re going to contribute to trillions of dollars of damage to property and we will change the face of life on this planet,” Kerry replied.
Later, Kerry praised AOC for offering “more leadership in one day” on global warming than “President Trump has in his lifetime.” [Video]
Ocasio-Cortez also mocked Republican critics of her Green New Deal, saying they hadn’t actually read her plan.
“While I am incredibly flattered that the ranking member and many members across the aisle seem to be so enamored with a non binding resolution presented by freshman congresswoman sworn in three months ago, I think that ironically despite that fixation, it doesn’t seem that they’ve actually read the contents of the proposal presented resolution,” she said. “So I would just ... I would encourage that we don’t need Cliff’s notes for a fourteen page resolution that was designed to be read in plain English by the American people. So, I would encourage my colleagues to actually read the resolution presented so that they can speak to it responsibly and respectfully.”