Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines introduced a resolution forcefully condemning what he called the "failed experiment" of socialism on Monday, warning that the United States had "two paths to take" -- with one leading to "freedom," and the other, "complete government control, undermining our constitution and our American way of life.”
The resolution comes as a new Fox News poll showed 54 percent of voters thought the U.S. moving from capitalism toward socialism would be a "bad thing" -- even as 53 percent of Democratic primary voters said it would be a "good" development. The growing divide is expected to play a pivotal role in the 2020 presidential election.
In his prepared remarks introducing the resolution, obtained by Fox News, Daines criticized the Green New Deal and "Medicare-for-all" -- as well as the increase in partisanship on Capitol Hill. Less than an hour earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., similarly condemned "hyperventilating hacks" seeking to sow division, rather than make policy.
"We are at a pivotal time in our great nation’s history," Daines said. "We have shown the world time and time again the genius of American ingenuity and the grit of American determination. However, a radical, socialist, far-left movement is growing across this country. And it has taken root as the new voice of the Democratic Party."
Daines continued: "My grandpa was a Democrat from Billings, Montana. If he was around today, he would be appalled at some of the things the far left is saying and advocating for. The words and actions of certain radical members of the Democratic House highlight this new standard for the Democratic Party."
A draft copy of the resolution, obtained by Fox News, specifically took aim at the Green New Deal and "Medicare-for-all," saying the proposals would "eliminate the private property rights of all people of the United States" and force taxpayers to pay trillions of dollars.
The Green New Deal by itself could cost as much as $93 trillion, or approximately $600,000 per household, according to a study co-authored by the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
"It was renowned economist Milton Friedman who said, 'One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.' Radical Democrats are advocating for disastrous policies that would wreck our economy under the guise of cleaning up the environment," Daines asserted.
Earlier this year, union leaders -- traditionally supportive of Democrats -- raised a similar objection to the Green New Deal, saying it might put blue-collar workers on the unemployment line.
Speaking to Reuters, a spokesman for the coal industry union United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) specifically took umbrage at the Green New Deal resolution's call for a "fair and just transition for all communities and workers" in order to "achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions" in the span of just ten years.
“We’ve heard words like ‘just transition’ before, but what does that really mean?" the spokesman, Phil Smith, said in an interview. "Our members are worried about putting food on the table."
Daines' resolution ended by affirming, as President Trump has done, that the United States will "never" become a socialist country.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has come under fire this week for not explaining how he'd pay for his government-run "Medicare-for-all" plan, but took time to address the criticisms during an interview this past Sunday with Jake Tapper, claiming a tax hike likely will be necessary.
Sanders claimed his plan would cut billions of dollars in health-care costs by eliminating red tape and passing the price tag along to wealthier taxpayers. He also slammed fellow 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden for challenging the viability of the proposal.
"The wealthy will obviously pay the lion’s share of those taxes, but at the end of the day, the vast majority of the American people will pay substantially less for the health care that they now receive, because we’re going to do away with hundreds of billions of dollars of administrative waste," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"We're going to do away with the incredible profiteering of the insurance companies and the drug companies. So, people will be paying, in some cases, more in taxes but overall... they'll be paying less for their health care. Obviously, health care is not free. Right now we pay for it through premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. In Canada, it's paid through taxes. We'll have to do that."
Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this report.