McConnell plans to bring Green New Deal to Senate vote

Erika Holt
February 14, 2019

In an entry-level chess move on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said that he wants to hold a vote on the Green New Deal resolution proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey "to see how [Senate Democrats] feel about the Green New Deal".

"I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal", McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

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Having a vote on what may be a polarizing issue among voters may force lawmakers to choose between appeasing moderates and their liberal base - among them, many progressive activists who supported the concept of a Green New Deal long before the bill was released.

Ocasio-Cortez and Markey's Green New Deal resolution-which calls for a "national mobilization" to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030-has already garnered the support of 67 House Democrats and 11 senators, including major 2020 presidential contenders like Sens. The ambitious proposal met a reality check Tuesday as California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared there "isn't a path" for completing a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco - although Newsom's office said later that he isn't walking away from the project. Almost all Democrats in Congress who are running for president in 2020 have expressed support for the measure. While some environmental advocates applauded the plan's grand scope, experts said the plan's aim to get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years seemed unrealistic. He added that the plan would "shut down American energy" and "a little thing called air travel".

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"In the coming weeks", the group concluded, "Sunrise Movement's army of young people will be taking action to expose the moral bankruptcy of GOP elites and invite all Senate Democrats to join Senator Markey in championing the first-ever resolution to rise to the scale and urgency of the climate crisis".

Have rising sea levels and worsening forest fires convinced the Republican leader to reassess his position on climate change? In July 2017, Republicans forced a vote on a single-payer health care system.

Sen. Chuck Schumer invited McGrath to the Democratic Party headquarters last month to talk about the 2020 race, according to Mark Nickolas, McGrath's former campaign manager, who was speaking to Politico.

Republicans have not offered an alternative measure to the Green New Deal and have not indicated they plan to do so.

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