Published: Thu, March 28, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Senate Shuns Green New Deal, Making Climate a Wedge Issue

Senate Shuns Green New Deal, Making Climate a Wedge Issue

The Green New Deal fell at the first hurdle Tuesday as the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to begin debate on the non-binding resolution, with 42 Democrats and Sen. Hickenlooper's stance against the resolution aligns him with the 53 Republicans and four red-state Democrats who voted "no"; the rest of the Senate Democratic caucus, including Colorado's Michael Bennet, voted "present" on the measure, dismissing the vote as a Republican stunt.

"The Green New Deal is one that if you are a rich liberal from maybe NY or California it sounds great because you can afford to retrofit your home or build a new home that has zero emissions, that is energy efficient, affordable and safe", Duffy said, according to Fox News.

The plan has broad support among Democratic activists, and all six of the 2020 presidential contenders serving in the Senate have signed on as co-sponsors, putting it at the forefront of the party's sprawling primary race.

Republicans say the plan would devastate the economy and lead to a huge tax increase.

"When the Midwest is flooded and people have died because of climate-related extreme weather, it is shameful to joke about climate change", the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted Tuesday, referring to the historic flooding in the US plains states. 'With nuclear power available, it's strategy for fighting climate change with windmills makes as much sense as going to war in sail boats'. They call it more evidence of the creep of "socialism" in the Democratic party, along with "Medicare for All" and a sweeping elections reform package that would allow public financing of congressional campaigns.

"While I appreciate the renewed conversation around climate change that the Green New Deal and its supporters have sparked, I think we need to focus on real solutions that recognize the role fossil fuels will continue to play".

But "a Green New Deal", says the resolution, "must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses".

The debate the Senate held Tuesday was not the one Green New Deal supporters wanted. Most of the Democrats voted "present" in protest while Democratic Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), hit back at Lee, calling him a cure to imposter solution.

"The GOP's whole game of wasting votes in Congress to target others "on the record", for leg they have no intent to pass, is a disgrace", Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who introduced the resolution last month with Sen. "If this guy can be Senator, you can do anything", she wrote to her 3.7 million followers. "Then we can get serious about taking action to tackle the climate crisis at the scale of the problem", she said in a written statement after the vote. The plan aims to ensure that all Americans have "a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security". "I've never seen a bill sponsored by a dozen people who don't want to vote on it", he said.

The Green New Deal goes far beyond energy to urge national health care coverage and job guarantees, high-quality education and affordable housing, as well as "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States" to be energy-efficient.

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