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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, center, speaks to members of the media while departing a House Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Ahead of the vote Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of using political theater to hide his lack of a plan to address a warming planet.
“Republicans want to force this political stunt to distract from the fact that they neither have a plan nor a sense of urgency to deal with the threat of climate change. With this exercise, the Republican majority has made a mockery of the legislative process,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday.
McConnell aimed to put Democrats on the record about whether they support the plan. He sees it as something that will fail to resonate with centrist or independent voters, who some senators will need to keep their seats — or win swing states in a presidential election next year.
The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday that he believes in climate change and wants to address it through unspecified “technology and innovation.”
“This is nonsense,” McConnell said of the Green New Deal. “And if you’re going to sign on to nonsense, you ought to have to vote for nonsense.”
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, plans to use the proposal against Democrats as he runs for re-election next year. Six Democratic senators — Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — are running to challenge the president next year.
During a Senate Republican policy lunch Tuesday, Trump signaled he wants to use the Green New Deal as a cudgel in 2020, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“He said make sure you don’t kill it too much, because I want to run against it,” the South Carolina Republican said, according to NBC News.
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