The Senate is going to hold a vote on the Green New Deal, the energy plan championed by progressive Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that he planned to set up a vote on the bill in a move that many people see as a way to force lawmakers to take a stance on the controversial proposal, according to The Hill.
During a press conference, McConnell made the surprise announcement that the Senate would be voting on the joint resolution, introduced by Democratic Representative from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, which is intended to address climate change.
"I've noted with interest the Green New Deal. We're going to be voting on that in the Senate; it will give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal," McConnell said, according to Vox.
McConnell didn't say when the vote would happen and it doesn't appear to have been scheduled at this point. It is unlikely that the bill will pass the Republican-controlled upper chamber.
Many are seeing the Republican leader's move as a way to get people on the record about where they stand with the Green New Deal ahead of the 2020 election. This could put many Democrats in a politically tricky position. Moderate Democrats have been lukewarm on the proposal, while progressive leaders have championed the idea.
Nancy Pelosi has dismissed the Green New Deal as a "green dream," but every Democratic senator running for president in 2020 has come out in support of the legislation. Republicans are largely against the measure, and misinformation has spread about the bill, saying that it would end plane transportation and harm the economy.Markey doesn't seem intimidated by McConnell's gambit. He says that he thinks discussion and debate is a positive thing. He said that up to this point, Republicans have avoided discussing the issue and deny that global warming needs to be addressed.
"They have offered no plan to address this economic and national security threat and want to sabotage any effort that makes Big Oil and corporate polluters pay. The principles of the Green New Deal resonate with the American people — a mission to save all of creation by investing in massive job creation," he said.
According to NPR, the Green New Deal would take dramatic steps to reduce carbon emissions in the United States while boosting the economy. It would involve upgrading existing public buildings, overhauling the transportation system in the country, and creating a system in collaboration with farmers to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture.