McConnell wields Green New Deal as bludgeon against Dems

McConnell wields Green New Deal as bludgeon against Dems

McConnell wields Green New Deal as bludgeon against Dems

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he will schedule a vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping climate and economic plan spearheaded by first-year Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.). 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.

"I really don't like their policies of taking away your vehicle, taking away your airplane flights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' or 'you're not allowed to own cows anymore!'" he told the crowd.

The Green New Deal was introduced with great fanfare last week, as dozens of members of Congress gathered for a news conference to roll out the sweeping new initiative aimed at weaning the US completely off fossil fuels over the next decade.

Republicans largely remained silent on the Green New Deal late a year ago when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a cadre of left-leaning Democrats began demanding a select committee in the House devoted to the proposal.

"The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless-absolutely pointless-show votes back and forth across the aisle", McConnell told Schumer January 10 on the Senate floor.

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But McConnell's move to bring the plan to a vote on the Senate floor will be a key test for Democratic presidential candidates such as Sens. And it's picking up momentum in the Senate, too, especially among White House contenders such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand. "The Green New Deal needs to be put into action immediately ... doesn't it?"

But others aren't as ready to make a decision one way or the other. 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.

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. "Ocasio-Cortez tried to claim over the weekend that the FAQ, sent to news outlets such as NPR and uploaded on her congressional website, is not really part of the Green New Deal's policy proposals". "I'm not going to analyze every bill that some people with a lot of big ideas are proposing".

McConnell's scheduling a vote is strategic, intended to leverage a lack of Democratic unity behind the Green New Deal as a means to tackle climate change. But by bringing the measure up for a vote, McConnell will force Democrats to take a position on a plan that is increasingly a target of attacks by President Trump and other Republicans.

Last Thursday, progressive Democrats unveiled a plan to "transform" the US economy to combat climate change with a "10-year national mobilization" to shift away from fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources.

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