By Bradford Betz
Published March 26, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will put the Green New Deal to a vote on Tuesday in a move that will force Democrats to take an official stand on the measure and thus pit the party’s moderates against its progressive wing.
“I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on the “Green New Deal,” McConnell tweeted. “A radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”
The resolution, which amounts to an ambitious overhaul of the U.S. to combat climate change, undoubtedly will not pass in the GOP-controlled Senate. But Republicans say that the vote will allow them to better gauge Democrats’ commitment to its radical proposals.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has derided the planned vote as a political stunt and accused Republicans on Saturday of “wasting votes in Congress.”
“Stop wasting the American peoples’ time + learn to govern,” the freshman lawmaker tweeted. “Our jobs aren’t for campaigning, & that’s exactly what these bluff-votes are for.”
Republicans have resoundingly lambasted the Green New Deal for its socialist implications and hefty price tag. Sen. Charles E Grassley, R-Iowa, has likened the proposal to a “utopian manifesto,” while Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called it a “socialist fantasy.”
J. Scott Jennings, McConnell’s former campaign adviser, said the Green New Deal is dividing Democrats, but that moderates are afraid to speak out because the party’s base “is demanding this sort of extremely out-of-the-mainstream stuff.”
By contrast, said Republican political consultant Joseph Pinion, the Green New Deal has united Republicans – both Trumpers and never-Trumpers alike – “in the idea that the policies of a Green New Deal would be disastrous for America.”
The New York Times reports that most Democrats will vote present on Tuesday because the terms of the resolution have not been fully flushed out or discussed among the party.