Democrats Take Heat for Voting 'Present' on New Green Deal

According to the Washington Post, “The Senate on Tuesday rejected the Green New Deal, with Republicans casting the proposal to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to combat climate change as a far-left idea and with Democrats taking the rare step of voting ‘present’ on a politically driven vote.”

“The measure failed on a 57-to-0 vote, with all Republicans and four Democrats blocking the resolution. Aiming to avoid an intraparty fight on the issue, 43 Democrats — including those who introduced the Green New Deal — voted ‘present.’”

The partisan bickering begins immediately:

“The proposal addresses the small matter of eliminating the use of all fossil fuels nationwide in a 10-year time frame,” McConnell said Tuesday. “This might sound like a neat idea in places like San Francisco or New York, the places that the Democratic Party seems totally focused on these days. But communities practically everywhere else would be absolutely crushed.”

Democrats have countered by calling McConnell’s maneuver a “sham,” saying the vote was held without any hearings or expert testimony, all to scuttle meaningful legislative efforts on climate change.

“McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change?”

When asked why so many Democrats in the upper chamber voted “present,” Ocasio-Cortez responded that she advised them to do so and slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for pushing a vote on the floor without a hearing in an attempt to put Democrats on the record about the proposal ahead of the 2020 elections.

“The American people will see, they will see which of their senators can do the common sense thing and vote 'no' on this destructive socialist daydream. And they will see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote no on self-inflicted economic ruin,” McConnell said.

Senate Democrats were quick to slam McConnell’s move as a stunt meant to expose divisions within the party.

“Today’s #GreenNewDeal vote is a partisan stunt to side-step needed debate on climate action, and give Republicans cover to put oil lobby checks over our kids. I’ve come to expect nothing less from [McConnell]. I’ll be voting ‘present.’ I don't play ball with bad-faith farces,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of several Senate Democrats running for president, tweeted before the vote.

"Climate change is an existential threat, and confronting it requires bold action," Harris said in a statement following the vote. " ... Political stunts won’t get us anywhere. Combatting this crisis first requires the Republican majority to stop denying science and finally admit that climate change is real and humans are the dominant cause. Then we can get serious about taking action to tackle the climate crisis at the scale of the problem."

"[McConnell's] stunt is backfiring and it’s becoming clearer and clearer to the American people that the Republican Party is way behind the times on clean energy and that Democrats are the party willing to take action," said Schumer, D-N.Y., who asked, "... What's the Republican Party proposal? Is it more coal?"

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