CLIMATE: Race is on to define 'Green New Deal'

Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30

Sen. Sherrod Brown D-Ohio speaks at a rally in Brunswick Ohio Jan. 30

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the U.S. Senate will vote on a "Green New Deal" introduced by Democrats that aims to slash U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to negligible levels in a decade. When asked about the Green New Deal on Tuesday, Senator Sherrod Brown of OH, who is reportedly considering a presidential run, said that he supports a Green New Deal but is "not going to take a position on every bill that's coming out".

The Senate will vote on new climate change legislation known as the Green New Deal, McConnell told reporters Tuesday, without offering a specific timetable. "It will give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel".

He offered no date for the vote.

"On Saturday, President Donald Trump mocked the Green New Deal", jokingly calling the Democrats' embrace of the proposal "brilliant". The legislation, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has received much backlash since its roll-out.

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"While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer". Ed Markey of MA, the proposal calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate USA greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Thus far, only one candidate, Amy Klobuchar, has explicitly stated she would not support the legislation, while Democrats including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker have expressed their support.

In addition, the bill lays out some lofty goals that could require massive, difficult-to-administer new programs, like a job guarantee and a plan to upgrade every building in the country for energy efficiency. The ambitious proposal met a reality check Tuesday as California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared there "isn't a path" for completing a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco - although Newsom's office said later that he isn't walking away from the project. It was officially unveiled to Congress last week by Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Senator Edward Markey in the form of nonbinding resolutions. 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. In July 2017, Republicans forced a vote on a single-payer health care system.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY also dismissed McConnell's plans for a vote. Rather than expose of rift in the party, 43 Democrats made a decision to vote "present" as a show of frustration with the politically motivated maneuver.

"We welcome the enthusiasm that is there", she said in a news conference last week, later adding, "I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals that people have out there".

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