McConnell to call Senate vote on Democrats’ Green New Deal

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez  during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol

Labor unions say they are withholding support for a Green New Deal unveiled by Democrats last week to transition the American economy away from fossil fuels, arguing the loosely-defined plan could kill jobs if its architects aren't careful. "We'll give everybody a chance to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal". It's meant to offer a green alternative that honors the New Deal, which was drafted to save big banks on the heels of the Great Depression.

The idea of a Green New Deal has become a key policy initiative for Ocasio-Cortez, who shortly after being elected in November joined the Sunrise Movement to protest over the climate change issue in the office of now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The so-called Green New Deal came under fire nearly immediately from Republicans, saying it would cost trillions of dollars, would destroy the US economy and result in huge tax increases.

It also immediately provoked controversy. But Ocasio-Cortez isn't discouraged by any political divisions on the outline, saying at a press conference, "I will not allow our caucus to be divided up on silly notions, we are in this together".

Further, Ocasio-Cortez envisions upgrading all existing buildings, working with farmers to "eliminate pollution" and building charging stations for electric cars "everywhere", making high-speed rail so effective that "air travel" is unnecessary.

By sanctioning a vote, McConnell appears to be betting that the resolution will prove too radical for a good number of Democrats, let alone any Republicans. 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.

The climate measure is already supported by at least five senators seeking the Democratic nomination for president: Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of MA and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

"I don't need to co-sponsor every bill that others think they need to co-sponsor to show my progressive politics", Brown told reporters.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of MA and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who have both announced their bids for the 2020 nomination, have signed on as Senate co-sponsors of the Green New Deal.

"To me, this is just so extreme", said John Barrasso of Wyoming.

"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive".

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