Senate Vote on Green New Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on the Resolution for a Green New Deal.

“I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal, and we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate to give everybody an opportunity to go on record,” McConnell told reporters.

Mitch McConnell is going to force the Senate to vote on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, Tucker Higgins, CNBC, 2/12/2019

The objective behind this seemingly odd move is apparently to force Senators to go on record about the Green New Deal (GND). Republicans and others have ridiculed many aspects of the GND, most commonly the cost, or the severity of the environmental threats the GND is designed to address, or how impractical the plan is.

The Green New Deal was also targeted by the Republican president at a campaign rally 2/13/2019:

“I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane rights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ of you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!” Trump said at a large rally Monday night in El Paso, Texas.
“It would shut down American energy, which I don’t think the people in Texas are going to be happy with,” Trump said elsewhere in the speech, eliciting cheers from the audience of more than 5,000. “It would shut down a little thing called air travel. How do you take a train to Europe?”

Donald Trump attacks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal at a campaign rally in a preview of things to come for the 2020 election, Christina Wilkie, CNDB, 2/12/2019

Trump derided the Green New Deal – an economic stimulus concept designed to fight income inequality and climate change – as a “massive government takeover over that would destroy the incredible economic gains” the U.S. has made under his administration.

Ocasio-Cortez blasts Trump’s comparison of Green New Deal to ‘HS term paper’, Bradford Betz, FOX News, 2/12/2019

McConnell is unwittingly playing into the hands of the Sunrise Movement, the main organization promoting the GND. The primary goal of the resolution to create a GND is to create the pieces of legislation that will be needed to make the GND happen.

But the other goal for having resolutions to vote on is what is being called a ‘litmus’ test, putting politicians on record regarding their support for the GND. As soon as votes are held in the Senate and the House, the Sunrise Movement will know which candidates to support and those who need to be defeated.

As Josh Vorhees writes in SLATE, “the Green New Deal also presents a major opening for any progressive looking to stand out in a field (of Democratic presidential candidates) that continues to move left. If no one in the front-runner pack is willing to declare it their top priority, full stop, it would open the door for a lesser-known candidate to enter the picture.”

Here, though, is one thing it (GND) will do: make climate change a major issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s truly a breakthrough, considering that global warming got short shrift in the 2016 primary and no shrift in the last general election. Four years ago, the defining fault line ran so neatly between the two parties that it often went without saying: Democrats accepted the science of man-made climate change; Republicans, almost to a man, did not. As a litmus test, it was illuminating. But it also undercut the sense of urgency among liberals. Hillary Clinton had to suffer through the occasional heckling, sure, but she knew that the climate crowd would come around by Election Day given their legitimate fears (since confirmed) about what a climate-science-denying GOP president would do.
The real test isn’t what candidates want in a perfect world; it’s what they’re willing to fight for in this one. In that regard, the Green New Deal also presents a major opening for any progressive looking to stand out in a field that continues to move left. If no one in the front-runner pack is willing to declare it their top priority, full stop, it would open the door for a lesser-known candidate to enter the picture. The 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez is too young to run for president, but she’s not too young to play the role of king- or queenmaker among progressives. 
The plan’s political power lies very much in that holistic approach. It’s a cheat code to move past the either/or debate that tends to define the conversation on the left: Do you want to combat income inequality, or do you want to address climate change? The Green New Deal answers, simply, Yes.
For years, the Republican Party has managed to shirk its responsibility to find climate solutions by refusing to concede there is any problem to solve. The Green New Deal flips that dynamic on its head by focusing on what else can be gained by addressing the problem, instead of what might be sacrificed. That alone will make it a conversation Democratic hopefuls are more eager to have—and primary voters more likely to pay attention to.

The Green New Deal Is Now a Litmus Test for the 2020 Field By JOSH VOORHEES, SLATE, FEB 07, 2019
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