Senate GOP expected to force vote on Green New Deal in March

Source: By Jordain Carney, The Hill • Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019

Senate GOP expected to force vote on Green New Deal in March

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Senate Republicans will bring the Green New Deal resolution to the floor as they try to jam Democrats on the progressive proposal.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of Senate GOP leadership, said that he expected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would bring the resolution up for a vote the week of March 25, when the Senate returns from its one-week recess.
“That’s my understanding,” he said.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), another member of GOP leadership, said he also thought the proposal would be brought up for a vote that week.
A spokesman for McConnell said he didn’t have an announcement on timing for the Senate’s vote but that the GOP leader has said it will take place during the upcoming work period.
The Senate is expected to leave town by Friday for a one-week recess. They’ll then return on March 25 and remain until April 12, when they’ll leave for two weeks.

The Green New Deal, which strives for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the United States while creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs,” has zero chance of passing in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes to advance.

But Republicans have seized on the Green New Deal, spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-N.Y.), as they hunt for fodder for the 2020 presidential election; several Senate Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination.

McConnell blasted the progressive proposal from the Senate floor earlier Wednesday, calling it an example of “garden-variety 20th-century socialism.”

“Our Democratic colleagues have taken all the debunked philosophies of the last hundred years, rolled them into one giant package, and thrown a little green paint on them to make them look new. But there’s nothing remotely new about a proposal to centralize control over the economy and raise taxes on the American people to pay for it,” he said.

Democrats have blasted McConnell, arguing that he’s trying to “troll” them and dodge a broader debate on climate change policy. Several have suggested they will vote present on the Green New Deal resolution to try to dodge the GOP leader’s political trap.

They’re also trying to turn the tables on McConnell.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democrats are rolling out a litany of measures meant to let them go on offense on climate change. Among their targets is a the defunding of a Trump administration panel meant to counter the scientific community on climate change.
“Why are our Republican friends so silent on this, perhaps the major issue of our day? History is not going to look kindly on them when it looks back. What are they afraid of, the oil industry?” Schumer said from the Senate floor earlier this week. “What are they afraid of, the facts? What are they afraid of, right-wing orthodoxy often funded by the Koch brothers who don’t want to admit climate change? Shame, shame.”