Mitch McConnell will make Democratic senators vote on the 'Green New Deal'

Cheryl Sanders
February 13, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that he wants the Senate to vote on a massive plan to fight climate change.

Last Thursday, progressive Democrats unveiled a plan to "transform" the USA economy to combat climate change with a "10-year national mobilization" to shift away from fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources.

It has virtually no chance of being approved, but the report said "it will force Senate Democrats, including a slew of 2020 presidential candidates, to vote on the proposal - potentially providing votes for McConnell and the GOP to exploit". "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 Green New Deal doesn't entirely halt the use of coal or oil, but seeks to offset that pollution through increasing forests, which absorb carbon dioxide. "Of course, they won't be able to run it because they can't actually start a train under the Green New Deal". Five of the declared candidates for the party's presidential nomination have signed on as co-sponsors of the measure in the Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

McConnell is eager to get Senate Democrats on the record about their support for the resolution introduced last week by Senator Ed Markey of MA and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY.

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. Senate Democrats used a similar tactic when Republicans introduced a single-payer health care amendment to their 2017 health care bill. Rather than expose of rift in the party, 43 Democrats made a decision to vote "present" as a show of frustration with the politically motivated maneuver.

The proposal includes progressive agenda items like universal healthcare and a federal jobs guarantee.

In December, a poll from Yale and George Mason universities found that 81 percent of registered voters supported the goals of a Green New Deal, including 64 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of conservative Republicans.

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

The earlier version of the fact sheet described measures far beyond those contained in the actual plan, such as: "Build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary". 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.

Other Republicans are prepared to watch with glee.

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