Republican-Controlled Senate to Vote on Democrats' Green New Deal

Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30

Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30

Ed Markey (D-Mass.), environmentalists and progressive members of Congress argued that rather than revealing deep rifts in the Democratic Party, an up-or-down vote will spotlight the GOP's total opposition to a widely popular policy that represents the best hope of adequately confronting the climate crisis.

It's hard to say whether McConnell will be successful in his bid to rattle Democrats on the fence about a resolution that promises so much so quickly. The ambitious proposal has been spearheaded by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Five of the declared candidates for the party's presidential nomination have signed on as co-sponsors of the measure in the Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, though technically an independent, has also said that he might run for president in 2020.

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"I really don't like their policy of taking away your auto, of taking away your airplane rights", President Donald Trump said at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday, referring to the memo.

Critics also pounced on a blog post from Ocasio-Cortez's office - now taken down - that said the policy assures "economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work". "So, look, the political stunts are not going to get us anywhere". Ocasio-Cortez has subsequently described the fact sheet, which has been deleted from her website, as a "draft".

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During the government shutdown last month, McConnell blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to force a vote on a House-passed spending bill to reopen the government that lacked Trump's backing.

The Green New Deal calls for, among other things, using 100 percent renewable energy resources and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years, feats that many believe are impractical and expensive achievements to be completed in such short time.

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But Democrats facing competitive reelection battles could find themselves vulnerable to Republican attacks on the issue - although voting "present" to avoid having to take a position on the matter is one potential strategy. In July 2017, Republicans forced a vote on a single-payer health care system. 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. "Unfortunately for Mitch, all he's going to do is show just how out of touch Republican politicians are with the American people".

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