McConnell’s plan got a scathing rebuke from the key author of the movement, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal and a progressive star in the Democratic Party.
“The Senate vote is a perfect example of that kind of superficial approach to government,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday. “What McConnell’s doing is that he’s trying to rush this bill to the floor without a hearing, without any markups, without working through committee — because he doesn’t want to save our planet. Because he thinks we can drink oil in 30 years when all our water is poisoned.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is holding a procedural vote on the nonbinding resolution in an effort to get Democrats on the record about their support for the ambitious proposal ahead of the 2020 campaigns.
According to a senior Democratic aide, the members of the caucus largely intend to vote “present” when the Green New Deal is brought up, to broadcast that they won’t play McConnell’s game.
“I think it’s fine because this is a procedural question,” she said. “I’m totally fine either way, because it’s been rushed through.”
This includes the sponsor of Senate Resolution 59, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and its eleven co-sponsors. Six of the co-sponsors are running for president: Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
Sen. Markey called the vote “nothing but an attempt to sabotage the movement we are building” in a tweet immediately after McConnell first said he wanted to have a vote.
A March 22nd Washington Post story by Dino Grandoni quotes Markey’s reasoning at length: “Democrats will not allow Leader McConnell and Republicans to make a mockery of the debate in the Senate on climate change. This vote is a sham and little more than a political ploy to protect vulnerable Republicans from having to defend their climate science denial.”
“Every member of this body will have the opportunity to cast a clear vote, this very week,” McConnell said in a floor speech on Monday. “The American people deserve to know which senators can reject this crippling proposal right away and which senators find themselves unable to do that.”
In a tweet on Monday, McConnell seemingly addressed accusations that he was manipulating the vote to divide Democrats.
“I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on the ‘Green New Deal’: a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy,” he wrote.
This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of
- achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
- establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
- investing in infrastructure and industry;
- securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and
- promoting justice and equality.
The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including
- building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
- upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
- removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
- cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
- ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
- providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.