Saturday, 16 February, 2019

McConnell plans to bring Green New Deal to Senate vote

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America Alex Wong Getty Images North America
Kenny Thornton | 13 February, 2019, 16:08

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan by Democrats to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

The resolution calls for a 10-year "national mobilization" to move the US economy off fossil fuels, provide healthcare for all, increase wages, and expand union rights. Republicans have mocked it a progressive pipe dream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase, calling it evidence of the creep of "socialism" in the party. "I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' of you're not allowed to own cows anymore!"

Even the left-leaning NPR admitted the Green New Deal's objectives would be "very hard to implement".

Unable to get an answer from the panel on whether the Green New Deal would require the government to set up a "vacation commissar", Cheney asked who among them supports Ocasio-Cortez's proposal.

The resolution has amassed significant but by no means widespread support on Capitol Hill - there are 67 co-sponsors in the House and 11 in the Senate, including several current or potential presidential contenders: Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.

It's a favor that most Senate Democrats probably do not appreciate.

The legislation, a sweeping package of climate-change measures unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, has drawn a tepid response from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who didn't explicitly throw her support behind the ideas. Rather than fall for the ploy, Democrats voted "present", except for red-state Democratic senators who voted no. Ed Markey of MA, the proposal calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate USA greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

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The plan goes far beyond energy to urge national health care coverage and job guarantees, as well as high-quality education, affordable housing and a high-speed rail network.

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

Cruz even took shot at phantom provisions that Republicans have said are in the Green New Deal, like when he said "socialist payments and a guaranteed income to people who are quote 'unwilling to work.'.You know, there used to be a term for people who are unwilling to work".

The resolution submitted to the House and Senate makes no mention of cows or air travel. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told Ocasio-Cortez she was in over her head. While some environmental advocates applauded the plan's grand scope, experts said the plan's aim to get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years seemed unrealistic.

Former Vice President Al Gore has been a big supporter of the Green New Deal, as have Sen.

Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said the quip about cows and airplanes was meant to be ironic, but Trump and other Republicans seized on it as an example of the plan's excesses.

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