By Justin Chermol
Images of babies, a space-lizard, and Aquaman appeared on the Senate floor Tuesday as GOP Senators pilloried the Green New Deal during a vote to consider the sweeping legislation introduced by Democrats to combat climate change.
Perhaps the most notable image was displayed by Utah Senator Mike Lee, who mocked the progressive bill in front of an image depicting President Ronald Reagan riding a velociraptor.
"I'm not sure anybody could quite miss the message by seeing that. One of the points I was making is this is not a serious policy proposal," Lee told Cheddar's J.D. Durkin on Tuesday. "It's no more serious to display Ronald Reagan, holding a machine gun, flying on the back of a velociraptor, holding a tattered American flag, and suggest he fired the closing shot of the culminating battle in the Cold War than it is to say the Green New Deal is somehow going to end the problems associated with using fossil fuels. It's not realistic."
Sen. Lee also displayed images of a repto-mammal space lizard and Aquaman to support his argument against what many conservatives claim is the Green New Deal's plan to eliminate air travel. Nevertheless, the legislation does not actually mention eliminating air travel.
Lee told the floor that the solution to climate change can be found "in churches, in wedding chapels, in maternity wards."
"The solution to so many of our problems at all times and in all places is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids," Lee said beside images of babies. He added: "More babies mean more forward-looking adults — the sort we need to tackle long-term, large-scale problems.”
On Tuesday, the GOP-controlled Senate rejected the procedural vote on the Green New Deal, which needed 60 votes to advance. The vote was brought forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in an effort to put pressure on Democrats and split the party as the 2020 elections quickly approach. To avoid such a party fight, 43 Democrats voted "present."
Sen. Lee's political theater was ridiculed by the Green New Deal's co-sponsors: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).
"When the Midwest is flooded and people have died because of climate-related extreme weather, it is shameful to joke about climate change. This is exactly Democrats’ point – Republicans only want to make a mockery of the climate crisis. We will not let them," Markey wrote on Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez criticized the GOP senators for "are using their Congressional allowances to print Aquaman posters" while claiming that the legislation "saving our nation from climate change is a ‘waste of money.'"