Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Mitch McConnell to Force Green New Deal Vote to 'Rattle' Democrats

Mitch McConnell to Force Green New Deal Vote to 'Rattle' Democrats

Senate GOP leaders who joined McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday criticized the measure, saying it would increase energy costs. "Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal".

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) took to the Senate floor yesterday to outline a host of ramifications of the plan, which he said would mean the end of ice cream. Rather than expose of rift in the party, 43 Democrats made a decision to vote "present" as a show of frustration with the politically motivated maneuver.

Others are (tepidly) admiring the Republican leader's strategy.

The name, Green New Deal, references the New Deal of the 1930s that President Franklin Roosevelt implemented to aid Americans suffering in the Great Depression by embarking on huge government-led infrastructure projects. 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.

Last week, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., introduced a sprawling blueprint of an environmental and economic overhaul that has gotten the support of numerous Democrats, including most of the candidates who have announced 2020 presidential runs.

By sanctioning a vote, McConnell appears to be betting that the resolution will prove too radical for a good number of Democrats, let alone any Republicans.

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While McConnell seems to think that getting Democrats on the record backing the Green New Deal will help the GOP politically, the New Yorker's Osita Nwanevu noted that supporting the bold measure "isn't very fraught with political risk for most Democrats". She has opted to frame it as one of potentially many anti-climate-change proposals.

The resolution is expected to fail in the Senate.

On top of polls showing the Green New Deal is extremely popular, Nwanevu pointed to another survey showing "that 66 percent of Americans want to see action on climate change, with a 45 percent plurality favoring "immediate" action".

"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).

The Senate vote is not yet scheduled, and a spokesman for McConnell said that the Republican leader's office doesn't expect it to come this week.

Noting his own state's mix of fossil fuels and renewables, Cramer said he's anxious to explore some energy deals with Democrats.

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