News World “People are dying”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scolds Republican inaction on climate change
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“People are dying”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scolds Republican inaction on climate change

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez climate change
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in New York in January. Photo: AAP
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US Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has fired off at Republicans for discrediting her concerns on climate change, in the process adding another line to her expanding list of searing cut-through moments.

Video of the two-minute long slamdown has been retweeted almost 77,000 times and viewed by more than 11.3 million people since it was posted Wednesday morning (AEDT).

The Republican-led Senate had earlier voted down the progressive rising star’s Green New Deal 0-57, with most Democrats voting “present” in protest.

At a financial services committee meeting later in the day, a Republican congressman suggested Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s legislation would only benefit “rich liberals” – equating the climate change policy with elitist circles.

Cue the roasting.

WATCH THE VIDEO

“This is not an elitist issue. This is a quality of life issue,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.

“You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx, which is suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country.”

“People are dying. They are dying.”

US government agencies last year released a report into the devastating impact of climate change that declared 10 per cent of the nation’s economy could be wiped by 2100, contradicting Republican opposition to action.

“Because, as towns and cities go underwater, as wildfires ravage our communities, we are going to pay. And we are either going to decide if we’re going to pay to react, or pay to be proactive,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez added in her monologue.

The Democrat freshman later took to Twitter to further admonish the GOP, criticising their approach to climate change as “a joke” in the wake of ongoing climate change disasters.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s blunt assessment of Republican inaction on climate change received plaudits among Democrats, and highlighted her rapid ascent since securing an upset victory at last year’s US mid-term elections.

The 29-year-old New Yorker has 3.7 million Twitter followers and has developed a reputation for adept rebuttals of her critics within political spheres and the media.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s appeal to constituents on social media, particularly left-leaning millennials, extended to Australian audiences most recently in January.

Having received a torrent of abuse from Republicans after an college video of her dancing resurfaced online, she took to the halls of US Congress to highlight “Congresswomen dance too” – her most viral tweet to date.