McConnell takes aim at Ocasio-Cortez with Green New Deal vote

13 February, 2019, 16:10 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell speaks after a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the U.S. Senate will vote on a "Green New Deal" introduced by Democrats that aims to slash U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to negligible levels in a decade.

The plan, initially championed by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls for a New Deal-style mobilization to shift the US economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar.

McConnell and other Republicans oppose the plan but are hoping to force Senate Democrats - including a crowd of 2020 presidential candidates - to vote on a proposal Republicans say would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase.

"I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights", President Donald Trump said at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday, referring to the memo. Though the border wall along the Mexican border was addressed, it was the senator's opinion of the newly-proposed Green New Deal by Democrats that brought out his more colorful side.

Several of the 2020 presidential contenders have come out in support of the measure, but McConnell is eager to see which of them "go on record" with it.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat from New York City and an avowed socialist, crafted and promoted the plan. Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who's likely to enter the Democratic primary soon, is also a supporter.

Cheney asked the expert panel, comprised of four Democrat and two Republican witnesses, to state how they each arrived in Washington D.C., for the hearing.

The plan outlines some of the most aggressive climate goals ever put forward by Democratic lawmakers and clashes dramatically with the Trump administration's efforts to advance domestic oil, gas and coal production by rolling back environmental protections. In July 2017, Republicans forced a vote on a single-payer health care system. Ed Markey of MA, the proposal calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate USA greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.


And then there are the guaranteed jobs "with a family sustaining wage".

"This is now a voting issue across the country", Markey said.

"I would just say that it's going to be crucially important for us to recognize and understand when we outlaw plane travel, we outlaw gasoline, we outlaw cars, I think actually probably the entire USA military, because of the Green New Deal, that we are able to explain to our constituents and to people all across this country what that really means", Cheney said.

The resolution submitted to the House and Senate makes no mention of cows or air travel. When asked about the Green New Deal on Tuesday, Senator Sherrod Brown of OH, who is reportedly considering a presidential run, said that he supports a Green New Deal but is "not going to take a position on every bill that's coming out".

Ocasio-Cortez countered that Trump is not equipped to give criticism of her House resolution since he "can't even read briefings written in full sentences".

The plan actually calls for expansion of public transit and high speed rail, to reduce dependence on cars and planes.

"We set a goal to get to net zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren't sure we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast", a version of the document hosted by NPR reads.

Other Republicans are prepared to watch with glee. The GOP-controlled Senate scheduled a symbolic vote on single-payer health care legislation in 2017, a decision also created to put prominent liberals on the spot, and in January brought up foreign policy legislation that took on the boycott movement against Israel.

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