Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins Protest Outside Nancy Pelosi's Office

Clay Curtis
November 14, 2018

I have recommended to my House Democratic colleagues that we reinstate a select committee to address the climate crisis. Since last week's election, that needle has shifted slightly.

The incoming Congresswoman from NY addressed the group briefly before police came in to arrest demonstrators who refused to leave the hallway outside Pelosi's office.

Such a policy would be modeled after the public works policies that helped lift the US out of the Depression, and would focus on speeding the renewable transition along in a just manner over the next decade.

"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", Ocasio-Cortez told the group during her first trip to Capitol Hill for a congressional orientation. "We need to tell her that we've got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen", Ocasio-Cortez said of Pelosi, before high-fiving demonstrators. "There is no other option". "It (the protest) is not just about confrontation, it's about real meaningful unity behind our goals". Anything less is tantamount to denying the reality of climate catastrophe. Carbon emissions must fall 45 percent by 2030 and be net zero by mid-century.

While the first part of the bill is easy for nearly any Democrat to agree to in theory, the second part, in naming a specific enemy, forces party leadership to pick a side: big donors or victims of climate change? But that doesn't mean it's not worth crafting legislation for the right time.

"I think every single one of us that are part of this effort to forge new leadership are very mindful of the fact that women form a large part of our caucus", Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, who opposes Pelosi, told reporters, "It's hard to say now but I think every single one of us are motivated to ensure that we have a woman leading the caucus". The protestors are focused on the latter in the hopes of changing the former.

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Meanwhile, Pelosi is seeking to reclaim the speakership of the House as some anti-Establishment incoming and incumbent members of the House refuse to support her.

Based on a series of tweets, neither group seems satisfied with Pelosi's statement, but they thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her support. Justice Democrats tweeted "n$3 ot good enough".

Last week, the president said Democratic investigations could backfire.

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".

While Pelosi needs just a majority of Democrats to nominate her as their candidate for speaker when the caucus holds leadership elections on November 28, she will need at least 218 Democrats' support on the floor assuming all 435 members participate and all Republicans vote against her.

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