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Mitch McConnell to hold Senate vote on Green New Deal



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, announced Tuesday that he’ll hold a Senate vote on the Green New Deal resolution that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey introduced last week.

“We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

McConnell’s move is designed to force Senate Democrats, and 2020 contenders in particular, to go on record with whether or not they support the resolution’s far-reaching agenda. The roadmap for potential future legislation includes a 10-year mobilization to decarbonize the economy, a federal jobs guarantee program, and universal healthcare and housing.

In this regard, McConnell’s interests are aligned with progressive activists, who are already pushing aggressively to make the Green New Deal a litmus test for Democrats in 2020.

The vote has not yet been scheduled.

Read more: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled a Green New Deal that will force 2020 Democrats to take an aggressive stance on climate change

President Donald Trump and his party have denounced the Green New Deal as a “socialist wish list” and “a laundry list of government giveaways.” Trump told a rally of supporters that the plan would eliminate cars, airplanes, and cows — none of which are proposed in the resolution.

The 14-page nonbinding House resolution is the culmination of months of negotiation among environmental groups, progressive lawmakers, and impacted communities. The measure was cosponsored by nine senators — including several Democratic presidential candidates — and more than 60 House Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The resolution provides an outline for a series of bills Ocasio-Cortez and her congressional allies plan to write to push forward the environmental and social programs they propose. The GND’s ultimate goal is to make the US economy carbon-neutral by moving to 100% renewable energy, while simultaneously creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

Every Senate Democrat who has announced a 2020 bid — Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Amy Klobuchar — have endorsed the plan. Sen. Bernie Sanders has also endorsed it, and will likely join his colleagues in running for president.

But the lawmakers haven’t all endorsed the specific goals laid out in Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution.

While the details of the Green New Deal remain to be hashed out, recent polls have shown that Americans views on climate change are shifting to the left.

A recent survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University found that 73% of Americans said they understood that global warming is occurring — an increase of 10 percentage points from three years ago. 72% of those polled said climate change was important to them.

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