The Green New Deal (GND) is a package of proposed reforms introduced by the Democrats in Congress. The GND, which is associated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, includes such ambitious proposals as a job guarantee, affordable health care, infrastructure repairs, and much more, as well as a transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
Republicans have expressed a lot of vocal opposition to the Green New Deal, usually arguing that the proposals would give the government too much power, but one of them has gone much further than most.
On Thursday, Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican Congresswoman from Utah, declared the Green New Deal “tantamount to genocide.”
“For many people who live in the West, but also in urban and rural areas, the ideas behind the Green New Deal are tantamount to genocide,” Bishop said at a press conference on Thursday, per The Hill. Bishop is the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee. He added that “that may be an overstatement, but not by a whole lot.”
Bishop went on to rip Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers as “Easterners” who live in urban areas, and therefore have little understanding of how things work in more rural parts of the country.
“I’m an ethnic. I’m a westerner,” Bishop said in a subsequent interview with Axios, when asked what was genocidal about the proposed Green New Deal. “Killing would be positive if you implement everything the Green New Deal actually wants to.”
The comments came at an event where House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, announced that they were sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to hold a hearing on the Green New Deal. As speaker, Pelosi controls the agenda in the House of Representatives, and the new Democratic majority has established a new House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director Corbin Trent, in a statement to the newspaper, described Bishop’s comments about genocide as a “misleading and offensive statement.”
This is a staggering story from @AmyAHarder, who asked Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) about his claim that the Green New Deal was nearly “tantamount to genocide.”
AXIOS: How is the Green New Deal like genocide?
BISHOP: I’m an ethnic. I’m a westerner. https://t.co/2IOhvBl2Ia
— Robinson Meyer (@yayitsrob) March 14, 2019
The Republican majority Senate, believing that the Green New Deal is unpopular, is planning to schedule a vote on the package this month, per The Hill, in order to get Democrats on the record in voting on the legislation. The vote is expected to take place the week of March 25, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has described the proposal as “garden-variety 20th-century socialism.”
The Green New Deal is unlikely to pass Congress during the Trump Administration, although it has a chance to shape debate about various issues as the 2020 Democratic primary season gets underway.