Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he will post
the Green New Deal, an environmental and energy plan touted by progressives for a vote in the Senate.
The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.
Observers believe the potentially life-saving legislation has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate, where it will need 60 votes in a chamber where oil and coal companies dole out millions in campaign contributions to politicians guided almost entirely by money.
Putting it up for a vote will force Senate Democrats, including many 2020 presidential aspirants, to potentially provide votes on the record for McConnell and the GOP to exploit.
“The Green New Deal is a transition to the 21st century economy that addresses the scale and urgency of the problems facing our planet and its population in ways that achieve environmental sustainability, equity, justice, freedom, and happiness,” said Lisa McCormick, a progressive leader in New Jersey who has been advocating the legislation.
“The Green New Deal is a four part program for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future,” said McCormick. “Inspired by the New Deal programs that helped America out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Green New Deal will create an economy that makes our communities sustainable, healthy and just.”
“Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal,” said the New York Congresswoman.
Democratic liberals, including all of the senators currently running for president, have come out in support of the legislation, which calls for generating 100 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources within 10 years. Scientists have said that dramatic, immediate action is necessary to stem the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Democratic moderates have been less than enthusiastic about the proposal. Only 11 of the 47 senators who caucus with the Democrats have signed on to sponsor the bill.
Republicans control the Senate, with 53 members of the 100-person chamber. Democrats control the House of Representatives, but it is not clear if the House will vote on the measure under Pelosi’s leadership.
“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi said in an interview last week. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”
President Donald Trump used the Green New Deal as a new line of attack against Democrats in his first major rally of the 2020 campaign season.
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