Not one Democratic senator, including sponsor Ed Markey (Mass.), voted on Tuesday to support the resolution "recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal." Instead, most, but not all, Democrats voted "present."
The sweeping Senate joint resolution, S.J. Res. 8, also addresses social goals such as ensuring high-quality health care and "guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage" in addition to climate change goals such as achieving "net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers."
Voting "present" is considered to be a "rare step," enabling Democrats "to avoid an intraparty fight on the issue," write Washington Post reporters Dino Grandoni Felicia Sonmez in an analysis of the politically-driven vote orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), "who called the plan a 'far-left wish list.'”
Nonetheless, three Democrats, Sens. Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), as well as Sen. Angus King (Maine), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, joined with Republicans to oppose the resolution.
Taking a swipe at both the Green New Deal and the Majority Leader, King wrote:
"I am frustrated and dispirited that the Senate Majority Leader’s first vote on climate change mitigation isn’t a serious attempt to solve the problem facing our future generations, but rather a cynical act of political theater that did not include hearings or an amendment process to provide the opportunity to improve this flawed resolution."
Joining Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) in co-sponsoring the actual Green New Deal resolution in the Senate, S.Res. 59, are the six declared Democratic presidential candidates who are U.S. Senators, all of whom voted "present:" Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y), Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.). [McConnell sponsored the joint resolution which was voted on Tuesday.]
The reporters discuss the candidates' positions on the Green New Deal delivered at a press event on Tuesday in front of the Capitol.
"One irony of the Green New Deal proposal is that it is forcing some Republicans to put forward their own climate proposals after being led for two years by Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that humans are warming the world," write Grandoni and Sonmez in the final paragraph.
Related in Planetizen:
Climate Action and the Green New Deal: Interview with Rep. Mike Levin, February 28, 2019
Updated: What the Green New Deal Means for Planning, February 11, 2019
Green New Deal Resolution Introduced in Congress, February 8, 2019
Hat tip to Kelsey Tamborrino, POLITICO Morning Energy.
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