Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could toss a major stinkbomb into the 2020 Democratic Primary as soon as next week.
According to the Hill, the Republican leader is planning to call a vote on the "Green New Deal" resolution championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey.
Though no Republicans have expressed support for the deal, McConnell's wants to fast-track a vote on the resolution as a ploy to divide Democrats between supporters and opponents and force 2020 primary contenders to go on the record either supporting or opposing the non-binding resolution. So far, most of the contenders have spoken favorably of the deal, including Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, while others, including Amy Klobuchar, have been somewhat more tentative.
As a reminder, here are some of the more "radical" proposals included in the original GND (or "Green Dream", as Nancy Pelosi once called it), at least before some major rewrites when even the GND's advocates balked at the lunacy that was presented before them.
- Rebuild every single building in the U.S.
“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency."
- Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.
The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions."
- Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.
It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible."
- Build trains across oceans and end all air travel.
“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary."
- Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead.
We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective."
- Mandates all new jobs be unionized.
"Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local."
- May include a carbon tax.
We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal."
- May include cap and trade.
The Hill included a litany of critical comments about the GND from Republicans and Democrats.
- “It is difficult to support the resolution right now when one of the lead sponsors says one of the intentions is to make air travel unnecessary,” Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, said in a statement in early February.
- “I’m looking forward to voting against the Green New Deal because it’s just so bad for the economy and we’ll have an opportunity for the Democrats to see if they want to rubber stamp this lurch to the left, this hard left turn that their party seems to be taking right now,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
- Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who faces a tough reelection race next year, equated the plan to socialism. “This idea is about socialism. That’s what this is. Look at it. Read it,” Gardner said. “And it’s important that we tell the American people what it is.”
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), another centrist in the Democratic caucus, characterized the plan in an interview with CNN last week as a “dream,” suggesting he’d vote against it.
- “I’ll vote on the motion to proceed and then we’ll see after that,” Manchin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, told The Hill.
But Chuck Schumer, who has refused to explicitly support the resolution, brushed aside questions about McConnell's decision and told reporters that he would welcome a vote on the resolution, saying "bring it on."
"You think it might embarrass Democrats to vote on a nonbinding resolution that some of us may support but not others?" Schumer asked. "Trust me, we’ll be fine, because the American people know that our entire party believes that climate change is happening and it’s caused by humans."
Maybe Schumer will change his tune after his office conducts a few rounds of polling about Americans' support for air travel and beef.