Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019.
"There's a lot of people now going back on the Green New Deal, they're like 'Oh it's impractical, oh it's too expensive, oh it's all of this, '" Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.), one of the many Democratic presidential hopefuls, said during a speech in Mason City, Iowa Friday. The goal is to transition the US economy away from burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gasses blamed for climate change, rising sea levels and severe storms. Ed Markey, D-Mass., unveiled the "Green New Deal" framework last week.
McConnell wants to get Democratic presidential candidates on the record about the controversial, but nevertheless exciting policy moonshot, so that Republicans can hit them with attacks mischaracterizing the deal, as Trump did at his El Paso rally on Monday: "I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' of you're not allowed to own cows anymore!"
Trent, the spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, predicted the Green New Deal gambit would backfire on Republicans. "We can't let Republicans sabotage it".
When confronted with the multi-billion-dollar price tag most experts place on the proposal, its allies have argued that climate change is an existential threat that necessitates a national mobilization effort unseen since World World War II.
Ocasio-Cortez-who has led the congressional push to force the Green New Deal into political mainstream-accused McConnell of attempting to "bully" the Democratic Party by plowing ahead with a vote, and argued that Democrats should embrace the opportunity to go on the record in support of bold climate action.
Ocasio-Cortez countered that Trump is not equipped to give criticism of her House resolution since he "can't even read briefings written in full sentences". Schumer asked reporters. "What are they going to put forward?"
The Green New Deal doesn't entirely halt the use of coal or oil, but seeks to offset that pollution through increasing forests, which absorb carbon dioxide.
"Broadly speaking, a vote on the resolution will do little more for Republicans than further elevate an issue on which they're deeply at odds with public opinion". "McConnell is trying to intimidate Democrats and end debate on the Green New Deal to stop this freight train of momentum because he knows he's losing, but all he'll do is show just how out of touch Republican elected officials are from their voters".
"The resolution will surely be opposed by some Democratic centrists", he concluded.