February 14, 2019
*-- McConnell promises vote on Democrats' Green New Deal --*
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he plans to hold a vote on Democrats' Green New Deal climate change resolution, a measure that's not expected to pass the upper chamber.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., introduced the resolution earlier this week with dozens of cosponsors, including 11 of the 47 Democrats in the Senate. Nearly all Democrats in Congress who are running for president in 2020 have expressed support for the measure.
"I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal and we're going to be voting on that in the Senate," McConnell told reporters Tuesday. "We'll give everybody a chance to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal."
He offered no date for the vote.
The Green New Deal, as written in Ocasio-Cortez's proposal, offers a broad plan to fight climate change with room for more specific policies to make the United States carbon neutral in 10 years. It also seeks to involve marginalized communities disproportionately affected by climate change -- those living in poverty, people of color and communities like Flint, Mich., already facing environmental struggles.
"For far too long, ideas like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade were touted as the premier solutions to climate change," Ocasio-Cortez said in a series of tweets coinciding with the unveiling of the proposal.
"While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer."
The Green New Deal doesn't entirely halt the use of coal or oil, but seeks to offset that pollution through increasing forests, which absorb carbon dioxide. It calls for an upgrade to infrastructure, building resiliency to climate change-related natural disasters and working with farmers to reduce emissions.
The resolution isn't expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, where moderate Democrats have been reluctant to voice support for it. And McConnell appears to view the vote as a way to force Democrats to go on the record in support of the progressive proposal, which even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described as a "green dream."
"We're going to vote in the Senate and see how many Democrats want to end air travel and cow farts," McConnell's campaign Twitter account said Tuesday.
President Donald Trump took aim at the Green New Deal during his rally Monday in El Paso, Texas, saying it threatens to take away Americans' cars, ability to travel by air and even rights to own cows -- none of which is included in the proposal.
"It would shut down American energy, which I don't think the people in Texas are going to be happy with," Trump said. "It would shut down a little thing called air travel. How do you take a train to Europe?"