McConnell to call Senate vote on Democrats' Green New Deal

Pauline Gross
February 13, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will put the Democrats "Green New Deal" up for a floor vote. It seems McConnell is planning to see which Democrats are on board with the Green Deal. It also includes non-environmental measures created to address issues like economic insecurity, housing and universal health care.

Last week, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., introduced a sprawling blueprint of an environmental and economic overhaul that has gotten the support of numerous Democrats, including most of the candidates who have announced 2020 presidential runs. Last week, a day before the resolution's release, Republicans in two House committees slammed the idea of a "top-down" approach to reducing emissions, calling the Green New Deal too "radical" for the United States.

"McConnell thinks he can end all debate on the Green New Deal now and stop this freight train of momentum ... all he's going to do is show just how out of touch Republican politicians are with the American people", she said in a statement. Still, from the support it's received among 2020 hopefuls, it appears that the Green New Deal will be a serious factor in the primary - as a talking point, if not policy proposal.

Republicans have used the Green New Deal to try to sow discord within the Democratic party, painting their political rivals as shifting to the left and embracing extreme policies.

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The legislation, a sweeping package of climate-change measures unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, has drawn a tepid response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who didn't explicitly throw her support behind the ideas.

When the resolution came out on Thursday, roughly 65 House Democrats co-sponsored it, while fewer than a dozen senators did the same. "It would mean banning all airplanes", he said. His status as the vice chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus suggests he could help woo Republican support for the measure.

Ocasio-Cortez issued her own rebuke hours later. 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. McConnell wants to get Democratic presidential candidates on the record about the controversial, but nevertheless exciting policy moonshot, so that Republicans can hit them with attacks mischaracterizing the deal, as Trump did at his El Paso rally on Monday: "I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' of you're not allowed to own cows anymore!"

The proposals known as the Green New Deal were crafted in conjunction with Senator Ed Markey of MA. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at Tuesday's GOP news conference.

Other reports by GizPress

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