Wednesday, 24 April, 2019

McConnell: We will vote on the 'Green New Deal'

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America Alex Wong Getty Images North America
Leonard Rios | 14 February, 2019, 08:10

"I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights", President Donald Trump said at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday, referring to the memo. Sherrod Brown, pointedly declined Tuesday to attach his name and dismissed liberal activists' contention that he has to support the Green New Deal in order to prove his commitment to the issue.

The upcoming vote - which has not yet been scheduled - will "give everybody an opportunity to go on record, " McConnell said. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at Tuesday's GOP news conference. Republicans have mocked it a progressive pipedream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase, calling it evidence of the creep of "socialism" in the party. Ocasio-Cortez has since disavowed the FAQ, which was posted on her website, and suggested her political enemies disseminated the document to sabotage the proposal. But Democrats didn't take the bait and voted "present" instead.

Markey quickly hit back at McConnell on Tuesday, releasing a statement blasting Republicans for failing to have a climate plan of their own. 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.

On the other hand, seasoned political pros like McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), who last week dismissed the Green New Deal as "the green dream or whatever", appear to view the plan as a poison pill for Democrats, who, by voting for it, would be asked to defend the plan's least popular, most outlandish ideas. But he added that the broad proposal might not easily translate into legislation that can pass Congress.

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She referenced a December poll by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication that found 81 percent of registered voters from both major parties either somewhat strongly or strongly supported the proposal's main objectives.

"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".

"Those are the only two things that are out there that actually deal with carbon on what Secretary Moniz called large-scale successes", he told E&E News, referencing testimony by former Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week (E&E Daily, Feb. 8). "I see it as a jumpstart. Or will you stand with Mitch McConnell and the fossil fuel billionaires?"

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