green dream
February 12, 2019

The Green New Deal will go up for a Senate vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Tuesday that the Senate will vote on the resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), The Hill reports.

This vote on the Green New Deal, which calls for drastic steps to cut carbon emissions, is doomed to fail, as it would need 51 votes to pass and therefore require Republican support. Considering it's a non-binding resolution, nothing would actually go into law even if it did pass. Still, McConnell says he's bringing it up for a vote to "give everybody an opportunity to go on record."

McConnell seems to want every 2020 Democrat to make clear whether they support it, with Axios reporting that President Trump and his advisers believe the Green New Deal is too extreme and would backfire on his eventual opponent. While a number of Democratic senators who are running for president have already backed the proposal, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Talking Points Memo notes potential candidate Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is among those who haven't.

"Read this as an effort to get Dems running in 2020 (for president and Senate!) on record supporting something GOP believes will read as extreme/embarrassing in general elections," MSNBC's Kasie Hunt writes. Conservative commentator Matt Walsh put it another way, saying, "McConnell will force Democrats to embarrass themselves by voting for it. Brilliant." The Washington Post's Robert Costa also reports the hope is to "rattle" Democrats.

NBC News' Benjy Sarlin notes, however, that most of the deal's more controversial aspects came from an FAQ that Ocasio-Cortez has since said was an early, "unfinished" draft, and they're not actually in the resolution that the Senate will vote on. Either way, former Hillary Clinton aide Brian Fallon noted that in past situations like these, most Democrats just voted "present." Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads