- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Democrats should be willing to go on record about whether they support the Green New Deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, challenging Democrats who’ve been worried about a looming vote on the policy.

Mr. McConnell said he’ll force the Senate to vote at some point before lawmakers’ summer vacation and said he was surprised to read that some Democrats may vote “present” rather than take a stand on the plan, which is high on liberal activists’ wish list.

“If this is such a popular thing to do and so necessary, why would one want to dodge the vote?” Mr. McConnell said.

The Green New Deal, written by new Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, is a sprawling vision of a new zero-carbon emissions economy coupled with a massive expansion of the government’s social safety net.

It has thrilled progressives who see it as a bold path to a clean-energy future, but Democrats on Capitol Hill are reluctant to cast votes on a plan whose costs reach tens of trillions of dollars over the next decade, according to an initial review by the American Action Forum.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called Mr. McConnell’s attempt to force a vote “a sham.”

“We’re not going to participate in shams,” he added.

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