Green New Deal vote is back on Senate schedule

The latest news about a Senate vote on the Green New Deal, S.Res.59, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is that a vote is planned to take place in the next few weeks. Originally there had been a report that the vote would be delayed until the end of summer.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the U.S. Senate would vote in coming weeks on the “Green New Deal,” an ambitious Democratic environmental proposal that has become a lightning rod for Republican criticism.
“The Green New Deal continues to be an interesting discussion for, particularly, Republicans and we will, of course, give our Democratic friends who’ve been advocating this proposal an opportunity to debate it and vote on it on the Senate floor sometime in the next couple of weeks,” McConnell said.

Senate to vote on Green New Deal: Republican leader, by Susan Cornwell, Reuters, 3/5/2019

On February 26, 2019, I attended the Sunrise Movement event hosted by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) at Senator Joni Ernst’s office to talk about the Green New Deal. Similar visits were made by Sunrise members at 75 Congressional offices across the country that day. Joni Ernst’s state director, Clarke Scanlon, met with us.

Other Republicans speaking to reporters at the Capitol denounced the plan, which aims to slash U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to negligible levels in a decade.
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa called it the “green raw deal” and said: “It is a slam to our agricultural community.”

Senate to vote on Green New Deal: Republican leader, by Susan Cornwell, Reuters, 3/5/2019

Several days ago I wrote about the letter I received from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. He wrote about the “so called” Green New Deal, and was definitely not in favor of it.

Some Democrats were also aflutter. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) dismissed it as “the green dream or whatever they call it. Nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” Pelosi and key House committee chairs refused to back the notion of a special committee tasked with producing a comprehensive 10-year agenda. Across Capitol Hill, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he would force a vote on the resolution in the Senate, certain that anyone supporting it would be in a boatload of trouble. In response, reports are that some Senate Democrats are considering just voting “present” to duck the question.

I’d say: Bring it on, Mitch. Let’s have a vote — preferably in both houses — that reveals the Republicans frozen in denial about climate change and unwilling to do anything serious to address it. Let’s see who on the Democratic side is prepared to stand up and who is not.

The naysayers get it wrong. Just as catastrophic climate events have savaged the United States, from California infernos to ever more destructive East Coast hurricanes, the issue of climate change is finally disrupting our politics. While not one question was asked about climate change in the 2016 general-election debates, in 2020, climate change and the Green New Deal (GND) will be at the center of the conversation. Leading Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala D. Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar have all endorsed the Green New Deal, and more will join.

GND supporters argue, correctly, that this is both a monumental challenge and a potential opportunity. Addressing climate change before it is too late will require a mobilization on the scope of World War II. That provides the opportunity to transform our economy and rebuild a broad middle class, this time including those who were largely locked out the last time.

Bring on the Green New Deal Vote, Katrina vandan Hauvel, Washington Post, 2/19/2019

Despite the aggressive mischaracterizations about the Green New Deal, the joint resolutions (H.Res.109 and S.Res.59) simply call for the creation of plans to create legislation to accomplish the following goals. The resolutions don’t actually specify any legislation.

This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:

  • achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
  • establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
  • investing in infrastructure and industry;
  • securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and
  • promoting justice and equality.

The resolution calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort. The resolution also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including:

  • building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
  • upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
  • removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
  • cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
  • ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
  • providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all.

Bill Summary

I haven’t read anything recently about how this will affect the resolution (H.Res.109) in the House of Representatives. My understanding of joint resolutions is if the resolution passes in one chamber, the other has to bring the resolution to a vote within a certain number of days. I guess since it is assumed the resolution will not pass in the Senate, this will not be an issue. I also assume if the Senate actually defeats the resolution, that would nullify the need for a vote in the House.

This entry was posted in climate change, Green New Deal, Sunrise Movement, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s