Senate to vote on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he intends to call up the "Green New Deal " for a vote in the Senate.

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.

Republican Senator John Barrasso, chair of the Senate environment committee, said Democrats were proposing a plan that "raises taxes, that overthrows really a productive energy market that we have right now in this country, raises energy costs, forces people out of work who are working in the energy field". "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!" "A Green New Deal is about jobs, and it is about justice".

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.

It's being pushed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat from NY who has captured the enthusiasm of the left wing.

Republicans showed on Tuesday that they are ready to use the resolution as a political weapon against those Democrats.

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The vote wouldn't be the first time Senate Republicans forced Democratic presidential hopefuls to go on the record about a liberal proposal they believe will alienate moderate voters later. As Vox's Matthew Yglesias points out, "They ran this exact play on the Sanders Medicare for All bill" in the Senate in 2017, when Montana Republican Steve Daines pasted a Democratic single-payer insurance plan onto one of the failed Obamacare repeal attempts. The resolution urges elimination of fossil fuels pollution and greenhouse gas emissions "as much as technologically feasible" in a range of economic sectors and calls for "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States" to be energy-efficient.

Trump, at his rally Monday night, said that under the Green New Deal, "You're not allowed to own cows anymore".

The resolution is expected to fail in the Senate.

After widespread ridicule, Ocasio-Cortez removed from her congressional website an FAQ summarizing the plan.

After a moment of silence, one of the environmental experts on the panel chimed in to say she supports numerous recommendations outlined in the Green New Deal.

The plan actually calls for expansion of public transit and high speed rail, to reduce dependence on cars and planes. 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. The GOP-controlled Senate scheduled a symbolic vote on single-payer health care legislation in 2017, a decision also created to put prominent liberals on the spot, and in January brought up foreign policy legislation that took on the boycott movement against Israel.

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