Mike Lee mocks the Green New Deal

Clare Bielefeld, MVC Copy Editor

On February 14, 2019, The Green New Deal was introduced in Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. The proposed program details processes by which the US could reduce its carbon emissions and help the environment in great strides. The bill seeks more to outline future goals for new legislation than to actually go into effect itself.

The goals of the Green New Deal are as follows:

“ (A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;

(B) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;

(C) to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;

(D) to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come—

(i) clean air and water;

(ii) climate and community resiliency;

(iii) healthy food;

(iv) access to nature; and

(v) a sustainable environment; and

(E) to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as “frontline and vulnerable communities”)”

Now I’m not here to give you the rundown on The Green New Deal, I’m here to talk about Senator Mike Lee of Utah’s subsequent mocking of the Green New Deal. Lee took to the Senate floor on March 26, 2019, to ridicule the proposed legislation. He claimed that he would treat the issue “with the level of seriousness it deserves.”

He continued to mock the Green New Deal through the use of outrageous posters and comments. For example, he presented a poster of Ronald Reagan riding on the back of a dinosaur that is holding an American flag through a seemingly post apocalyptic landscape. He showed many other mocking and disrespectful posters on the Senate floor.

“My thoughts on the Green New Deal- I know that there is a consensus even in the Republican party that there is climate change occurring and humans are impacting it,” said AP government teacher, Mrs. Terrell, “If someone is bashing the Green New Deal, that is more of a partisan issue than an issue that actually regards the problem of climate change. The animosity is more about politics. Neither party wants the other to get credit.”

I personally think that Lee’s performance on the Senate floor is completely uncalled for and completely unprofessional. I think that this presentation violated the virtue of the Senate and made a mockery of the entire American government. I am honestly shocked that Lee has not faced more criticism for this move.

Clearly, he misunderstood the point of The Green New Deal, and took the bill completely literally. The bill was meant as a suggestion, or a call to action. This went right over his head, and for that reason, he decided it was appropriate to make a joke out of the Senate floor. I am disappointed in him, and Republicans’ allowance of actions like his.