Saturday, 16 February, 2019

McConnell says Senate will vote on Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’

Ocasio Cortez and Senator Ed Markey hold a news conference for their proposed McConnell says Senate will vote on Democrats’ ‘Green New Deal’
Deanna Wagner | 13 February, 2019, 11:53

Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) railed against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R., Ky.) decision to call the Green New Deal resolution to a vote, legislation he co-sponsored along with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).

The Green New Deal House resolution introduced last week calls for the elimination of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through massive investments in clean energy sources and millions of jobs.

Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY led the unveiling of a resolution laying the groundwork for aggressive policy proposals created to combat climate change, which critics argue could be too costly to the economy and in some cases outright not feasible.

"And we're going to be voting on that in the Senate", McConnell said, saying it will, "Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal".

Almost all of the Democratic senators running for president have thrown their support behind the Green New Deal, but the bill does not enjoy the same success among the rest of Democratic senators, with only 11 of 47 supporting the deal, according to a report from CNBC. And it's picking up momentum in the Senate, too, especially among White House contenders such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

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Endorsing some form of a Green New Deal has become a litmus test for Democrats going into the 2020 campaign. When Democrats took over the House on January 3, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) vowed she would not approve a single penny for the wall, calling it "immoral". McConnell's aim is to split Democrats between the left-leaning members vying for the passions of their party's base and more moderate senators who view the proposal as radical and disruptive. His status as the vice chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus suggests he could help woo Republican support for the measure. He wants to silence your voice so Republicans don't have to explain why they are climate change deniers.

After widespread ridicule, Ocasio-Cortez removed from her congressional website an FAQ summarizing the plan. Ocasio-Cortez's spokesman also sent reporters a memo in which the congresswoman's office contradicted the resolution by taking positions on agricultural emissions, nuclear energy and air travel that did not appear in the formal legislation.

Democrats and Republicans may have reached a deal to avoid another shutdown, but it has come under criticism from both sides of the aisle.

Some Republicans even accused Democrats of proposing to do away with treats like ice cream by seeking to address bovine flatulence, which last week's memo highlights as a significant source of greenhouse gases. John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.