Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to task for his pledge to schedule a vote on the Green New Deal, calling the move a “cheap, cynical ploy.”
On Tuesday, McConnell told Capitol Hill reporters, “I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal,” adding, “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 Green New Deal.”
.@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
Schumer responded from the Senate floor on Thursday. “The Republican leader announced he’s going to bring up a resolution he intends to vote against. Now that is what the American people hate about Congress, the pointless partisan games,” he said.
“This is all they can muster, a political stunt,” the minority leader further argued. “They’re bringing a resolution forward, so they can vote against it. This cheap, cynical ploy evidently represents the sum total Senate Republicans leadership on the vital issue of climate change.”
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) February 14, 2019
Schumer also said that if McConnell does not allow amendments to be offered to the Green Deal Deal — likely designed to put Republicans on the record for being against more popular aspects of the proposal — the American public will know the majority leader was not serious about the issue.
Co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution include Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, The Hill reported.
Prospective 2020 presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas have also expressed support for the proposal.
According to The Washington Post, more than 70 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats have signed on to the Green New Deal. Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts joined Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in introducing the resolution last week.
Markey labeled McConnell’s plan to vote on the Green New Deal an attempt to “sabotage it.”
“Don’t let Mitch McConnell fool you: this is nothing but an attempt to sabotage the movement we are building. 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,” Markey tweeted Tuesday.
The Green New Deal envisions a massive government intervention into the economy in order to transition the United States to 100 percent renewable energy, including the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Currently, 11 percent of the country’s energy consumption comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
To achieve the goal, the Green New Deal mandates the replacement of airplanes with high-speed trains, the rebuilding or retrofitting of all buildings in the country to new green standards and the elimination of all combustion-engine vehicles.
Ocasio-Cortez also included some of her favorite government social programs in the resolution, such as free universal health care and college education, government guaranteed employment, and paid family and medical leave, as well as economic security for all.
Rep. Russ Fulcher, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, told The Western Journal, “I would rename the Green New Deal, the Red New Disaster because that’s exactly what it would be.”
“It’s embarrassing for those who put that out and appear to be serious about it.”
Fulcher added, “For anyone to suggest that you can undo clearly a century-plus of fossil fuel development on a ten-year timeline and not to have a decimated economy is just strictly insanity.”
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