Senate to Vote on New Green Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he'll bring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's signature climate proposal to a vote on the Senate floor - a move created to put Democrats on the spot.

The legislation, a sweeping package of climate-change measures unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, has drawn a tepid response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who didn't explicitly throw her support behind the ideas.

"For far too long, ideas like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade were touted as the premier solutions to climate change", Ocasio-Cortez said in a series of tweetscoinciding with the unveiling of the proposal. According to a GOP strategist that spoke with Axios, Republicans will emphasize the Green New Deal among "middle, lower classes and poverty stricken areas of America", broad constituencies crucial to either party's 2020 hopes. "Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal", McConnell told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

The forthcoming vote isn't the first time Senate Republicans forced Democratic presidential hopefuls to go on the record about a liberal proposal they believe will alienate moderate voters later.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously told Politico the Green New Deal was a "suggestion", saying it will "be one of severalm or maybe many suggestions that we receive".

When the resolution came out on Thursday, roughly 65 House Democrats co-sponsored it, while fewer than a dozen senators did the same.

"Broadly speaking, a vote on the resolution will do little more for Republicans than further elevate an issue on which they're deeply at odds with public opinion". Still, from the support it's received among 2020 hopefuls, it appears that the Green New Deal will be a serious factor in the primary - as a talking point, if not policy proposal.

The Senate Majority Leader won't be unprepared for such a contest, however.

"Republicans, climate deniers, and the fossil fuel industry are going to end up on the wrong side of history". The legislation, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has received much backlash since its roll-out. 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.

Some Republicans even accused Democrats of proposing to do away with treats like ice cream by seeking to address bovine flatulence, which last week's memo highlights as a significant source of greenhouse gases. Say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said on Monday that the demand had become an "obstacle" to the talks, with a key group of negotiators meeting that day to try to resolve the stalemate.

  • Jon Douglas