Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has officially pulled a fast one on Democratic lawmakers and is going to force a vote on the Green New Deal.
The climate change proposal was initially announced by Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but many of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate have expressed support for the bill, including presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal. And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate,” McConnell said during a presser at the Senate. “Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the #GreenNewDeal.”
.@Senatemajldr: "I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal. And we're going to be voting on that in the Senate. Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the #GreenNewDeal." pic.twitter.com/1HP5lSDjzM
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2019
Democrat Senator Ed Markey, who is leading the Senate effort to pass the bill, complained that McConnell was attempting to “sabotage” the Green New Deal by forcing a vote on it.
“Don’t let Mitch McConnell fool you: this is nothing but an attempt to sabotage the movement we are building,” Markey tweeted.
The Massachusetts Democrat said his Party was not yet united on the bill and still had some organizing to do.
“He wants to silence your voice so Republicans don’t have to explain why they are climate change deniers. McConnell wants this to be the end, this is just the beginning.”
He continued: “This isn’t a new Republican trick. By rushing a vote on the #GreenNewDeal resolution, Republicans want to avoid a true national debate & kill our efforts to organize. We’re having the first national conversation on climate change in a decade. We can’t let Republicans sabotage it.”
Per the Hill:
The deal has no chance of passing the Senate, where it will need 51 votes and faces united opposition from Republicans, who hold 53 of the chamber’s 100 seats.
But 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 politically.
“It’s astonishing to see this many presidential candidates moving so far to the left on a position that is going to raise energy costs for families, hurt jobs in America and really provide almost a government takeover of many of the industries in our country,” said Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of GOP leadership.
Barrasso said his main motivation in bringing the deal up for a vote is the presidential election, adding that it’s important, “to get people on record as to how much they really want to take this country in a hard left direction.”
“If you read the 14 pages of this Green New Deal, it goes way beyond just energy. It’s almost a manifesto of a whole change in what, to me, is democracy in America,” Barrasso added, according to the report.
Some Democrats in the chamber are hitting back at Republicans and are criticizing them for not having their own solution to combating climate change.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said: “My reaction is the first question Republicans should answer is what is their answer on climate change? What are they going to put forward?”
Democrat Senator Brian Schatz similarly said that “the R plan for addressing climate change does not exist.”