Marjorie Taylor Greene has attacked congressional colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a bizarre rant about the climate crisis and the Green New Deal.
“How much taxes and how much money did the people back in the Ice Age spend to warm up the earth?” the GOP freshman congresswoman asked at a town hall this week.
“Maybe perhaps we live on a ball that rotates around the sun, that flies through the universe, and maybe our climate just changes.” (NASA reports that at least 97 per cent of climate scientists agree the climate crisis is extremely likely due to human activities.)
Rep. Greene made the remarks in Murray County, Georgia on Wednesday as she attacked her Democratic colleague and asked why government spending was needed to tackle global heating.
“Well I’ll tell you what the Green New Deal and our new infrastructure plan will do. It’s going to bring us down to net zero carbon emissions, right?” she said.
“So we’ve got to stop using oil, and coal, right? Because that makes a lot of sense to a little girl named AOC from New York.”
The Green New Deal is a resolution introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez which lays out a framework for tackling climate change and providing jobs.
Rep. Greene, who has been removed from the Budget panel and Education and Labour committees, was blasted for her remarks.
Dr Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and president of the World Mental Health Coalition, said Rep. Greene’s comments were indicative of a larger “societal sickness” exemplified by Donald Trump.
“She is part of a societal sickness I have been alerting about: a sickness that Donald Trump represented, amplified, and spread. This is why it is a public health issue, not a matter of individual diagnosis,” she tweeted.
Aaron Rupar, a journalist at Vox, likened Ms Greene and her supporters to scientific philistines.
“These people are painfully, irredeemably ignorant – and proud of it,” he wrote. Others weighed in on social media to express their bafflement at Rep. Greene’s statements.
Rep Greene and Rep Ocasio-Cortez have had fiery exchanges in the past. In September, Rep. Greene mockingly thanked Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for putting an end to “dumb blonde” jokes.
“Blondes everywhere appreciate your service and your sacrifice!” she wrote in the tweet.
The New York congresswoman responded, saying she understood “why you need to swing + miss at my intellect to make yourself feel better”.
In February, Ms Greene sent out a fundraising email in which she erroneously accused Ms Ocasio-Cortez of encouraging people to “punch a cop.”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez defended herself on Twitter.
“Not only did I never make this claim, but I would never, ever do this. What Greene is doing pumping this lie to her insurrectionist base is making them feel justified in further violence,” she wrote. “The prospect of stripping her committees clearly isn’t quelling her. She must be expelled.”
Later that month, Ms Ocasio-Cortez accused Ms Greene of trying to “get out of work early,” a reference to the freshman representative’s frequent motions to adjourn the House in an effort to disrupt legislative sessions.
Rep Greene was stripped of her committees by the House in February. The 46-year-old congresswoman has been associated with wild conspiracy theories, including QAnon, which alleges that Donald Trump is engaged in a lone attempt to disrupt and uncover a satanic child abuse ring operated by senior Democrats.
Ms Greene attracted criticism in the wake of the Capitol riot. Anthony Aguero, a conservative live-streamer and associate of Rep. Greene, was among those who breached the legislature on 6 January.
Ms Greene has repeated Donald Trump’s baseless lies that the 2020 election was stolen through massive voter fraud. She has been accused of fanning the flames that led to the insurrection by tweeting the message “FIGHT. FOR. TRUMP” to her supporters ahead of the attack.
On 19 March, Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez introduced legislation aimed at expelling Ms Greene from the House.
She defended herself in a statement to CNN.
“House Democrats have declared war on House Republican Women,” Rep Greene said. “Democrats are trying overturn the will of the People who voted for both myself and Congresswoman Miller-Meeks.”
During this week’s town hall, where her remarks raised applause and cheers, Rep Greene also disparaged green energy alternatives. She parroted a conservative talking point by saying “we need green energy, only green energy, because Texas proved to us that in those winter times they’re such a great solution”.
The Lone Star State was hit by a deadly winter storm last month which left 111 people dead and caused rolling blackouts.
The massive outages were largely caused by the freezing of natural gas pipelines and the failure of the privately-run ERCOT power supplier to prepare for catastrophic weather events.