BY MICHAEL BASTASCH
- Senate Democrats are trying to shield themselves from voting on the Green New Deal.
- However, Republicans and environmentalists will make sure the Green New Deal sticks around through 2020.
- “Both the GOP and Democrats will love to denounce and praise it,” said one political observer.
Democrats are trying to shake off the specter of the Green New Deal, but the sweeping climate change manifesto is unlikely to disappear from the public discourse anytime soon.
Environmental activists and Republicans will make sure of that.
“Get ready for the Green New Deal to be one of the biggest buzzwords in electoral politics in decades,” said Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot. “Both the GOP and Democrats will love to denounce and praise it.”
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Green New Deal as the “green dream,”and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out his plan to The New York Times to distract from the Green New Deal going on the “offensive” on climate change.
Schumer’s plan includes having Democratic Senators vote “present” on the Green New Deal, promoting a watered-down alternative resolution and weekly floor speeches on climate change.
“This is the first time Democrats have decided to go on offense on climate change,” Schumer told The Times in an interview published Monday.
Schumer’s ultimate goal is to make climate change a top issue in 2020, but will he be able to do it on his terms and avoid being tied to Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s radical plan? Not everyone thinks so. (RELATED: Top Republican Bashes Democrats For Ignoring House Rules To Hold Hearings On Climate Change)
“Once you issue a manifesto, and that is irreducibly what the Green New Deal is, it becomes a measuring stick for advocates, allies and opponents,” McKenna said. “You can’t negotiate over it, and you can’t abandon it. It is a burn the boats moment.”
For starters, Environmental activists, mainly with the Sunrise Movement, have been pressing Democratic lawmakers for months to support the Green New Deal. That mobilization is unlikely to disappear overnight.
“The environmental left has for decades been pushing central planning, wealth redistribution and limits to sovereignty as the ‘solution’ to a host of real and perceived environmental issues,” Morano told TheDCNF.
The Green New Deal resolution, introduced by Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey in February, is only the latest iteration of that, Morano said.
Green New Deal supporters see it as the only real way to tackle climate change, dramatically shifting the U.S. economy to “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions, organized around “social justice” concerns.
On top of that, a number of 2020 presidential hopefuls have embraced the Green New Deal, including Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California as well as Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
That means, at the very least, the Green New Deal will likely be used as a talking point for Democrats in 2020, though they will likely keep it vague. Expect Republicans to constantly bring it up as well.
“Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution will be the main focus of debate for several years at least because it is the first document that lays out the Green Leap Backward honestly and publicly,” said Myron Ebell, a Green New Deal opponent and director of energy policy at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Republicans see Green New Deal support as a major vulnerability to Democrats in 2020. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring the resolution to a vote, confident of its defeat.