Green New Deal fails Senate test vote, dozens of Democrats vote ‘present’

The U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The Green New Deal, a radically democratic proposal for dealing with climate change, fell at the first hurdle Tuesday, as the Senate, not the 60 votes needed to begin debate on the non-binding resolution, with 42 Democrats voting “present.”

No senator voted to begin the debate on the legislation, while 57 lawmakers voted against breaking the filibuster. Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona came to 53 Republicans in voting “no”. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, the group meetings of the Democrats, voted “no”.

The vote had stressed that Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in an attempt of Democratic senators-including several of the 2020 presidential candidates — go on the record about the measure. McConnell had called the proposal “a radical, top-down, socialist redesign of the entire U.S. economy.” At a press conference earlier Tuesday, McConnell said he believed that climate change was real and at least partially caused by humans, but said the real question was the legislator, “How goes it?”

“The way to do this is said in accordance with American values and American capitalism, through technology and innovation,” McConnell. “… Do not shut down your economy to throw people from work, to reconstruct the people, their houses, their cars, you get the whole drive here. This is nonsense, and if you’re going in order to nonsense, you vote should, for nonsense.”

The Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, called McConnell a “fake vote”, with the aim to move the attention away from the real debate on the consequences of climate change.

“[McConnell] stunt is backfiring and it is becoming clearer and clearer to the American people that the Republican party is so behind the times, on clean energy, and that the Democrats are the party are ready to take action,” said Schumer, who asked, “… What the Republican party proposal? There is more coal?”

This is a developing story; check back for more updates.

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