Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will put the Democrats "Green New Deal" up for a floor vote. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), environmentalists and progressive members of Congress argued that rather than revealing deep rifts in the Democratic Party, an up-or-down vote will spotlight the GOP's total opposition to a widely popular policy that represents the best hope of adequately confronting the climate crisis. "Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal", McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
He offered no date for the vote. 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.
"While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer".
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Unlike past efforts to reduce emissions, the Green New Deal takes stock of the fact that climate change uniquely touches on nearly every part of the economy and threatens to wildly exacerbate a vast slate of social ills, including disease, poverty and structural racism.
Trump has frequently expressed doubt about climate change and said he does not believe action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
The proposals known as the Green New Deal were crafted in conjunction with Senator Ed Markey of MA. It includes a range of goals such as a shift to renewable energy sources, carbon neutrality by 2030, and a federal jobs guarantee. Kamala Harris (Ca.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). The ambitious proposal has been spearheaded by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Last week, a day before the resolution's release, Republicans in two House committees slammed the idea of a "top-down" approach to reducing emissions, calling the Green New Deal too "radical" for the United States. Republicans see the proposal as a big liability for Democrats, portraying it as a socialist plot to ban airplanes and cows. 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.
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"Instead of trying to cause mischief, the #Republican Party should put forward its own serious proposal to address #climatechange", Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "The Green New Deal resolution has struck a powerful chord in this country, and Republicans, climate deniers, and the fossil fuel industry are going to end up on the wrong side of history", he said.
In direct contrast to comments he made last month regarding "political stunts", it appears Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to do just that.
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