McConnell to call Senate vote on Democrats' Green New Deal

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally in Lower Manhattan in New York. Democrats including Ocasio Cortez of New York and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Mass.

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated that he would soon hold a vote on the plan, which has been endorsed by a number of the Democrats' 2020 presidential contenders in the Senate, including Sens. 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". "Ed Markey, who is the Senate co-sponsor of the Green New Deal with Ocasio-Cortez, is livid that he's calling a vote on it", Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

McConnell said he will have the chamber vote on the initiative to "give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel".

He offered no date for the vote.

President Donald Trump slammed the plan at a rally Monday in Texas, saying it would "shut down American energy". 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. But Trump's comments referred to a fact sheet of "Frequently Asked Questions" distributed by Ocasio-Cortez's office prior to a news conference last week.

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. It calls for an upgrade to infrastructure, building resiliency to climate change-related natural disasters and working with farmers to reduce emissions.

"I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal", he tweeted.

The various reactions to the Green New Deal have been deeply revealing, at least insofar as the politics are concerned. It was officially unveiled to Congress last week by Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Senator Edward Markey in the form of nonbinding resolutions.

Most of the Senate Democrats running for the 2020 presidential nomination have publicly supported the Green New Deal. The GOP-controlled Senate scheduled a symbolic vote on single-payer health care legislation in 2017, a decision also created to put Democrats on the spot, and in January brought up foreign policy legislation that took on the boycott movement against Israel.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY also dismissed McConnell's plans for a vote. But Democrats didn't take the bait and voted "present" instead. In a statement to CNBC, her office said, "McConnell thinks he can end all debate on the Green New Deal now and stop this freight train of momentum".

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