On Tuesday, March 26, the Senate test vote to begin the debate on the Green New Deal failed to meet the 60 required votes it needed. The Green New Deal is progressive legislation aimed at combating climate change introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Not a single senator voted “yes” to debate the deal with a 57-0 filibuster. Many Democrats refused to vote either “yes” or “no” and instead, 43 voted “present” which allowed them not to declare a side. Multiple Democrats even voted with the Republicans to contribute to the 57 “no” vote majority.
The Green New Deal’s main goal is to eliminate all net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and use 100% renewable energy by 2030. Republicans argue that 2030 is too soon of a turnaround and that the Green New Deal is too expensive to logistically work.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been on record calling the deal a “socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.” Before the vote, McConnell said, “The American people will see, they will see which of their senators can do the common sense thing and vote no on this destructive socialist daydream. And they will see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote no on self-inflicted economic ruin.”
Many Democrats have been quick to call it a “sham vote.” Prior to the vote, there had not been any hearings or real discussions about the Green New Deal in relation to the current crisis of climate change. Democratic senators, including candidates in the 2020 presidential election who had co-sponsored the deal, such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, voted “present.” This was not a surprise, however, as even Ocasio-Cortez “encouraged them (Democrats) to vote present.”
Because I encouraged them to vote present, along w/ others.
McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing.
The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change? https://t.co/de8oKOXeJf
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 26, 2019
On Saturday, March 23, Ocasio-Cortez also went after Republicans in a tweet which told them to “stop wasting the American peoples’ time + learn to govern.”
For now, the vote has stalled in the Senate with reluctance from both Democrats and Republicans to begin a debate on the legislation.