Senate Democrats advocating for developing a big legislative package to combat climate change want nothing to do with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move toward a Green New Deal vote.
The Senate is set to vote later Tuesday on the non-binding resolution, based on a proposal from Democrats in both the House and Senate, leading the rallying call for a Green New Deal.
Democratic supporters are planning to vote “present” on a cloture vote on a motion to proceed later Tuesday, effectively derailing the measure (which would need 60 votes in support to get up for floor debate).
“We cannot and we will not allow this debate to be cut short by Republican political games. We are just getting started,” Sen. Edward J. Markey said at a rally outside the Capitol. “This revolution cannot and will not be stopped.”
Watch: Myths of the Green New Deal debunked
The Massachusetts Democrat has been leading the Green New Deal effort on the Senate side.
“They’ve made attempts to block action on climate change by repealing the Clean Power Plan, opposing the Paris Climate Agreement and opposing the EPA’s endangerment finding,” New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said, joining with Markey and other supporters.
“But now suddenly they want to vote on the Green New Deal?” said the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful. “We will not fall for this stunt, because we know climate change is something that shouldn’t be treated like a game.”
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, spent part of his opening remarks on the Senate floor criticizing the unwillingness of the Democrats to vote in favor of their own resolution text.
“Now, since I announced last month that senators would actually have the opportunity to go on the record and vote on this socialist wish list, a funny thing has happened. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the self-professed supporters of a piece of legislation more angry or irritated that they would actually have to vote on it,” McConnell said Tuesday. “Merely bringing their own plan up for a vote — a plan they’d characterized as ‘an amazing step forward’ — was now declared to be ‘a diversion’ and ‘a sham.’”