As many parts of the Northeastern United States reeled Thursday following deadly flooding, tornadoes, and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined other progressive voices in linking the climate emergency to the nation\u0026#039;s growing inequality, and calling for urgent action to address both crises.\r\n\r\nNBC News reports at least 43 people were killed as Ida—now a post-tropical cyclone—battered the Tri-State Area with flooding caused by record rainfall, as well as tornadic winds, over the past 24 hours.\r\n\r\nAccording to the outlet:\r\n\r\n\r\nFour women, three men and a 2-year-old boy died in separate flooding incidents in the city, police said. All eight victims lived in Queens and died in the basements of residential homes, according to New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea...\r\n\r\nIn New Jersey, 23 people were killed, including four residents at the Oakwood Plaza Apartments complex in Elizabeth, four people in Somerset County, one person whose body was recovered in Passaic and one who was found in South Plainfield. Of the four residents, three were family members.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Many of these deaths occurred in basement dwellings, many of which are illegal and growing in [number] due to the unaffordable housing crisis, but do not meet safety standards required to keep people safe in incidents like flash floods,\u0022 Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted. \u0022These are working class, immigrant, and low-income people and families.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEchoing the congresswoman\u0026#039;s remarks, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, a Democrat, told MSNBC Thursday that this is \u0022a climate justice issue at the end of the day.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Think about the communities that are most impacted when these storms hit,\u0022 said Richards. \u0022They\u0026#039;re in environmental justice communities, people living in basements... that\u0026#039;s all tied to the affordability crisis. So we have to ensure that we\u0026#039;re dealing with the systemic issues.\u0022\r\n\r\nRichards accused the U.S. Congress of \u0022dragging its feet\u0022 on passing an infrastructure bill that includes adequate funding to combat the worsening climate emergency.\r\n\r\n\u0022We need it done yesterday,\u0022 he asserted, adding that \u0022if we\u0026#039;re not taking drastic and bold stances on policies and prevent this moving into the future, we\u0026#039;re going to continue to see more deaths.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCritics have denounced the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package approved by the U.S. Senate last month for funding \u0022false\u0022 climate solutions, while investing billions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry.\r\n\r\nProgressives have expressed confidence that congressional Democrats can overcome Republican, right-wing Democrats\u0026#039; and corporate lobbying efforts against the far more ambitious and broadly popular $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation proposal, which contains groundbreaking climate and clean energy policies including a Civilian Climate Corps.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe U.S. Senate approved the budget blueprint without a single Republican vote on August 11, while the House passed the measure along party lines nearly two weeks later. The package is backed by the Biden administration.\r\n\r\nIn addition to supporting the reconciliation bill, Ocasio-Cortez, along with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), earlier this year reintroduced Green New Deal legislation that calls for creating more than a million jobs, upgrading U.S. infrastructure, transitioning to 100% renewable energy, and taking other critical steps to tackle the climate crisis.