Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Republican leader says Senate will vote on Green New Deal

Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30 Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30
Melinda Barton | 13 February, 2019, 16:08

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said that he wouldn't bring legislation to a vote in the Senate that the president wouldn't sign.

Even without McConnell's efforts, the Green New Deal has become the latest flashpoint in the Democratic party's internal conflict between its centrists and its unapologetic left wing.

The plan goes far beyond energy to urge national health care coverage and job guarantees, as well as high-quality education, affordable housing and a high-speed rail network. Kamala Harris D-Calif., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Cory Booker, D-N.J. 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.

Critics are saying forcing a vote in the Senate would help Republicans portray Democrats as extreme on energy policy reforms ahead of the 2020 elections.

"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".

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. "The Green New Deal resolution has struck a powerful chord in this country, and Republicans, climate deniers, and the fossil fuel industry are going to end up on the wrong side of history".

When the resolution came out on Thursday, roughly 65 House Democrats co-sponsored it, while fewer than a dozen senators did the same. The GOP-controlled Senate scheduled a symbolic vote on single-payer health care legislation in 2017, a decision also created to put prominent liberals on the spot, and in January brought up foreign policy legislation that took on the boycott movement against Israel.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) criticized Republicans on Tuesday for pledging to hold what is essentially a show vote on the Green New Deal, given that they have not advanced any serious efforts to address climate change. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told Ocasio-Cortez she was in over her head.

That led to widespread mockery of Markey on social media.

On Monday, Trump poked fun at the Green New Deal at his campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, making exaggerated claims that the policy would force people to give up air travel and owning cows, a source of methane emissions.

"It is way out of the mainstream of the American public to the point that it is scary", Barrasso said.

The proposals known as the Green New Deal were crafted in conjunction with Senator Ed Markey of MA.