Green New Deal Flounders in Senate Shutout, Democrats Say Republicans Making 'Mockery' of Democracy

The sweeping climate change bill called the Green New Deal hit a major snag in its first legislative appearance Tuesday. The U.S. Senate voted against the bill, 57-0, with 42 Democratic senators and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders voting "present" rather than "yes" or "no."

Three Democratic senators—Doug Jones (AL), Joe Manchin (WV.) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)—broke rank to vote with Republicans, as did Sen. Angus Kaine, an Independent from Maine.

The Green New Deal calls for a major shift in the country to start using renewable sources like wind and solar power instead of traditional fossil fuels like coal and oil. It calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in an attempt to slow global warming, according to this report from Fox News.

The price of the Green New Deal has reportedly neared $93 billion in what would be taxpayer dollars.

Once the bill was introduced, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he would put it to a vote, with an attempt to force the hand of his Democratic colleagues, including a handful of 2020 presidential candidates, to go on the record.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said he voted "present" because he said Senate Republicans were "making a mockery of the Democratic process."

"They gave us no hearings, we could have no expert witnesses, we could have no scientists, we could have no people from the states who've been affected by the massive climate-related damage which has occurred, from forest fires in California to these storms across the Midwest, the hurricanes sweeping through Texas and Florida," Markey said on MSNBC's Chris Hayes show. "None of that was allowed to be presented as part of a hearing process. So, they were just making a mockery of the process. A sham so they could bring it out to make a political point for the Koch brothers, and Exxon-Mobil and the rest of their polluting buddies, and we just decided that we would not participate in anything that was such a disgrace in terms of how it was treating the severity of this problem, which is climate change."

McConnell tweeted Tuesday morning that the Green New Deal was a 'rallying cry' from the other side of the aisle.

"The Green New Deal, my Democratic colleagues' rallying cry: Killing off entire domestic industries. Winding down millions of jobs. Basically outlawing the only sources of energy that working-class and middle-class families can actually afford."

President Donald Trump retweeted a post by the White House that called Tuesday's vote "more absurd."

"The Green New Deal saga just got more absurd: Its own Democrat cosponsors wouldn't even vote yes or no."

Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin have called McConnell's vote a "political stunt."

Durbin wrote, "Today's vote on the Green New Deal resolution is a political stunt by Leader McConnell. His party is the only party in the world that denies the science of climate change. He should get serious and work with Democrats to deal with climate change, not schedule show-votes."

Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2020, said McConnell's calling of a vote was a "disgrace."

"Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party don't believe we have to address climate change, the major crisis facing this planet. That is a disgrace.

We need a Green New Deal that says we are going to boldly confront climate change and create millions of jobs in the process."

The Green New Deal was the first major bill filed by New York Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and she called out the Republican senators for rushing the vote instead of calling for a debate.

"Because I encouraged them to vote present, along w/ others. McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change?"

Green New Deal Flounders in Senate Shutout, Democrats Say Republicans Making 'Mockery' of Democracy | U.S.