- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Senate will vote on liberal Democrats’ Green New Deal plan, Republican leaders announced Tuesday, looking to force Democrats to take a stand either with or against the liberal activists pushing the plan.

“We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced with a mischievous grin.

He didn’t say when the vote might be held, but it’s likely to cause some headaches for Democrats who are eyeing a presidential bid and who need to try to balance competing interests within their party.

The Green New Deal is a 14-page outline of principles for reaching a net-zero carbon emission economy.

It suggests retrofitting all existing buildings to be more energy efficient, upending the country’s existing food supply, and pushing for cleaner transportation methods, while promoting economic redistribution and other social justice goals.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, and Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, are pushing the plan.

Mr. Markey complained Tuesday after learning that his plan would get a vote.

“Republicans don’t want to debate climate change, they only want to deny it,” he said. “They have offered no plan to address this economic and national security threat and want to sabotage any effort that makes Big Oil and corporate polluters pay.”

He didn’t say what part of the vote would be sabotage but insisted his plan has “struck a powerful chord” with average Americans.

“Republicans, climate deniers and the fossil fuel industry are going to end up on the wrong side of history,” he said.

So far, he has struggled to get backers.

Only a dozen senators and 68 House members have signed on. But seven of those senators are among those vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On the other side, however, is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has mocked the proposal as a “dream.”

Asked about the upcoming Senate vote, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer didn’t want to talk about what Democrats would do. He said the pressure should be on Republicans, instead, to offer their plans.

“The first question Republicans should answer is what is their answer on climate change. What are they going to put forward?” he said.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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