McConnell: We will vote on the 'Green New Deal'

Blanche Robertson
February 13, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan by Democrats to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy. The goal is to transition the US economy away from burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gasses blamed for climate change, rising sea levels and severe storms.

Republican Senator John Barrasso, chair of the Senate environment committee, said Democrats were proposing a plan that "raises taxes, that overthrows really a productive energy market that we have right now in this country, raises energy costs, forces people out of work who are working in the energy field".

President Trump slammed the Green New Deal at a rally Monday in El Paso, Texas, saying it would "shut down American energy". More than 80 percent of registered voters supported the concept of a Green New Deal in a December poll by Yale and George Mason universities. "It will give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel". Thus far, only one candidate, Amy Klobuchar, has explicitly stated she would not support the legislation, while Democrats including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker have expressed their support.

Republicans largely remained silent on the Green New Deal late past year when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a cadre of left-leaning Democrats began demanding a select committee in the House devoted to the proposal.

Cheney asked the expert panel, comprised of four Democrat and two Republican witnesses, to state how they each arrived in Washington D.C., for the hearing. Rather than expose of rift in the party, 43 Democrats chose to vote "present" as a show of frustration with the politically motivated maneuver. The Republican-controlled Senate scheduled a symbolic vote on single-payer health care legislation in 2017, a decision also meant to put prominent liberals on the spot, and in January brought up foreign policy legislation that took on the boycott movement against Israel. Ed Markey of MA, the proposal calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate USA greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Ocasio-Cortez issued her own rebuke hours later.

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The resolution submitted to the House and Senate makes no mention of cows or air travel.

The plan actually calls for expansion of public transit and high speed rail, to reduce dependence on cars and planes.

Other Republicans are prepared to watch with glee.

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.

It's unclear exactly what kind of measure McConnell plans to bring up for a vote in the Senate.

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