Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

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

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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to put the Democrats' Green New Deal to a vote so "everyone can go on record and see how they feel about" the measures created to fight climate change.

The resolution calls for a 10-year "national mobilization" to move the USA economy off fossil fuels, provide healthcare for all, increase wages, and expand union rights. Republican lawmakers denounced the plan as a radical proposal that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase. 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 auto, of taking away your airplane rights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' of you're not allowed to own cows anymore!" 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.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat from New York City and an avowed socialist, crafted and promoted the plan.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also expressed his support for the initiative, but has not formally announced whether he will run for president in 2020.

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.

Markey predicted more Democrats would sign on as the plan gets better known and said some Republicans may back it.

"Instead of trying to cause mischief, the #Republican Party should put forward its own serious proposal to address #climatechange", Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Ed Markey of MA, the proposal calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

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"This is now a voting issue across the country", Markey said.

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 is expected to fail in the Senate. Ocasio-Cortez has subsequently described the fact sheet, which has been deleted from her website, as a "draft".

Further, Ocasio-Cortez envisions upgrading all existing buildings, working with farmers to "eliminate pollution" and building charging stations for electric cars "everywhere", making high-speed rail so effective that "air travel" is unnecessary. And it made the impolitic statement: "We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast".

"We welcome the enthusiasm that is there", she said in a news conference last week, later adding, "I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals that people have out there".

Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said the quip about cows and airplanes was meant to be ironic, but Trump and other Republicans seized on it as an example of the plan's excesses. "Even when it comes down to something like air travel ... that means the government is going to be telling people where they can fly to and where they can't".

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