A fellow member of Congress has written a Fox News op-ed implying that her colleague is seeking to disrupt the availability of a popular American food. Obviously, it’s not true. And, surely, it involves AOC.
A common conservative talking point is to take a government proposal and imply, with a great deal of creative massaging, that it will lead to Americans losing something that they care about.
This happened back in August, when the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an obscure government body, gave an interview in which he implied that the government is considering adjusting its recommendation of how many drinks Americans should have per day.
This was a mere guideline — not a mandate — it is only under consideration, and it wouldn’t go into effect until 2025. But this was still characterized by some news outlets and even elected officials as a “Biden beer ban.”
The latest such story is about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and meat- and was written by a fellow member of Congress.
According to a Fox News op-ed late last week by Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY), a report from the Irish media indicates “the new way AOC is still coming for your hamburgers.”
The argument goes like this: In Ireland, farmers who have cows are suffering from “crushing new regulations as part of an agreement with the European Commission.” Due to new limits in that country on nitrates, those Irish farmers are faced with a choice: “buy more land for their cows, pay someone to haul away the waste, or liquidate some of their herd. For many, the first two possibilities may be cost-prohibitive, leading them to the heartbreaking conclusion that slaughtering cattle is their only choice.”
It is, of course, about the Green New Deal, an ambitious piece of environmental legislation that was introduced in Congress back in 2019. Opponents pointed to a paragraph that appeared on the website announcing the legislation, before it was eventually deleted, which stated that “we set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
“If anyone tries to tell you that this can’t happen in this country, tell them they haven’t been paying attention,” Hageman writes.
The Green New Deal, it’s important to note, was never signed into law, or even came anywhere close to it. It could be argued that, as a piece of legislation introduced during a Republican Administration, it was meant more as a messaging bill than as something that was ever going to be law, in the tradition of the Paul Ryan “Path to Prosperity” budget of the early 2010s. And while Republicans have attempted to conflate actual laws signed by President Biden as “Biden’s Green New Deal,” the 2019 version of the legislation bears only a passing resemblance to what has actually become reality.
Per Congresswoman Hageman, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing mandatory EID ear tags on all cattle, which Ireland also implemented, although the U.S. doesn’t appear to be making the demand of farmers that they buy more land or kill their cows.
But it’s not clear what any of that has to do with AOC. The Green New Deal, once again, never became law. The Biden Administration’s environmental policies, whatever you think of them, are not the Green New Deal. In fact, AOC reintroduced a version of the Green New Deal legislation earlier this year, but it went nowhere. And there’s no indication that environmental policymakers in Ireland are acting on AOC’s recommendations.
The Democrats are not the majority party in the House, and neither the White House nor the House Democratic leadership has appeared especially inclined, since the start of the Biden presidency, to listen to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow “Squad” members. So relax, America, your burgers remain safe.
Ironically, Hageman’s Fox News op-ed includes a pre-roll ad for solar energy.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.