The Washington Post’s Robert Costa tweeted Tuesday morning: “McConnell is considering taking up the green new deal for a vote in the Senate as a way to rattle Sen Dems, per a McConnell aide here at the [Capitol].”
Last Thursday, progressive Democrats unveiled a plan to “transform” the U.S. economy to combat climate change with a “10-year national mobilization” to shift away from fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources.
At least six senators running for president or considering White House bids backed the Green New Deal put forth by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).The plan goes far beyond energy to urge national health care coverage and job guarantees, as well as high-quality education and affordable housing. 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.
Markey predicted more Democrats would sign on as the plan gets better known and said some Republicans may back it. More than 80 percent of registered voters supported the concept of a Green New Deal in a December poll by Yale and George Mason universities.
“This is now a voting issue across the country,” Markey said. “The green generation has risen up and they are saying they want this issue solved” as one of the top two or three issues in the 2020 election. A coalition of labor, economic justice, racial justice, indigenous, and environmental organizations immediately announced their support.
An outline and FAQ for the proposal includes several jaw-dropping action items, including the eventual elimination of “necessary” air travel and “economic security to all those who are unable or unwilling to work.” Ocasio-Cortez tried to claim over the weekend that the FAQ, sent to news outlets such as NPR and uploaded on her congressional website, is not really part of the Green New Deal’s policy proposals.
“We set a goal to get to net zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast,” a version of the document hosted by NPR reads.
Further, in an attempt to illustrate the plan’s mammoth scale, its FAQ section states its cost would exceed the value of all resources of “every billionaire and company.”
While Democrats did not specify a price tag, some Republicans predict it would cost in the trillions of dollars. Republican lawmakers denounced the plan as a radical proposal that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase.
“The Green New Deal is a raw deal for the American taxpayer,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Barrasso called the plan “a socialist manifesto that lays out a laundry list of government giveaways, including guaranteed food, housing, college, and economic security even for those who refuse to work.”
On Saturday, President Donald Trump mocked the Green New Deal,” jokingly calling the Democrats’ embrace of the proposal “brilliant.”
“I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal,” he tweeted. “It would be great for the so-called “Carbon Footprint” to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military – even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.