Capitol Hill police arrested dozens of demonstrators advocating for the Green New Deal outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Washington, D.C., office Monday afternoon.
According to NBC News reporter Frank Thorp, 42 protesters were taken into custody for unlawfully demonstrating in the Russell Office Building as roughly 100 people rallied in support of for the far-left proposal.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 25, 2019
The protest, organized by Sunrise Movement, a “youth grassroots organization” that advocates political action on climate change, stormed the Kentucky Republican’s office before 11:00 a.m. local time. Several protesters held signs that read: “Mitch, Look Us In The Eyes.”
Banner reads, “Mitch, Look Us in the Eyes.” pic.twitter.com/B9wdrdP0Lo
— Anthony Adragna (@AnthonyAdragna) February 25, 2019
The Hill reports the protesters presented a petition with 100,000 signatures calling for McConnell to co-sponsor that Green New Deal resolution that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) brought before the House and Senate earlier February.
“As with all Kentuckians visiting D.C., we welcomed them to the office today. It’s worth noting that two weeks before, Senator McConnell had already announced that he will be bringing the Green New Deal up for a vote in the U.S. Senate,” Stephanie Penn, a spokeswoman for the Senate Majority Leader, said in a statement to The Hill.
In a recent press conference, McConnell announced he would bring a vote on the Green New Deal resolution, but did not state exactly when it would occur.
Last month, Ocasio-Cortez and Markey unveiled their proposal to “transform” the U.S. economy with a “10-year national mobilization” to shift away from fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources.
An outline and FAQ for the proposal detailed eyebrow-raising goals, which included eliminating the necessity of air travel and “economic security to citizens unable or unwilling to work.” Ocasio-Cortez came under fire for claiming its FAQ, which was sent to NPR and other news outlets, is separate from the Green New Deal’s policy goals.
Several Democrat presidential contenders, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have voiced support for the plan. At a recent campaign stop in Iowa, Booker compared the proposal to fighting Nazis. “We have to deal with this. Our planet is in peril, and we need to be bold. It’s one of the reasons I signed on to the resolution. I co-sponsored the resolution for the Green New Deal,” he told supporters. “There’s a lot of people blowing back on the Green New Deal. They’re going, ‘Oh, it’s impractical, oh it’s too expensive, oh it’s all of this.’ If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the moon.”
Yet, not all Democrats are thrilled about the Green New Deal proposal, which an analysis released via Bloomberg Monday estimated would cost an eye-watering $93 trillion. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife said the proposal was “unrealistic.”
In an opinion-editorial for New York Magazine, left-wing pundit Jonathan Chait wrote that the Green New Deal isn’t “remotely” attainable and warned it could have far-reaching ramifications for Democrats if taken seriously. “The Green New Deal is a document that defines the party’s entire domestic agenda. Turning that over to a member of Congress who’s been in elected office for a few weeks and whose views are a radical outlier within the party was a bad idea, and not only because of the FAQ debacle,” Chait said.