The decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring up the "Green New Deal" for a Senate vote is prompting a rush to define the terms of progressive Democrats' ambitious proposal to tackle climate change.
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. Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who's likely to enter the Democratic primary soon, is also a supporter.
"I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal", McConnell told reporters at the Capitol.
Sure, McConnell may have been trying to put Democrats on the spot, but if the latter is so adamant about their Green New Deal, why wouldn't they be celebrating and jumping at the chance to vote on it?
He offered no date for the vote.
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"While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer".
The Green New Deal is a dozen-page outline of principles for reaching a carbon emission-free economy. "I support a green new deal". The nonbinding resolution sets a goal to meet "100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources, " including nuclear power. 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 climate measure is already supported by at least five senators seeking the Democratic nomination for president: Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of MA and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. The reaction from Markey, who now opposes a vote on a resolution he cast as urgently necessary just last week, suggests he may be belatedly coming around to the view that they are right. Republicans see the proposal as a big liability for Democrats, portraying it as a socialist plot to ban airplanes and cows. In July 2017, Republicans forced a vote on a single-payer health care system.
In response to McConnell's announcement, the youth-led Sunrise Movement scheduled an "emergency mass call" for Wednesday night to discuss plans to make the Senate Majority Leader regret his politically-motivated scheme.
"We welcome the enthusiasm that is there", she said in a news conference last week, later adding, "I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals that people have out there".