WASHINGTON—Senate Republicans on Tuesday, March 26, defeated the Green New Deal resolution.
The vote was 57 against the resolution in the 100-member chamber, with 43 Democrats voting “present,” avoiding an up-or-down vote. Republicans won over Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and one independent senator, Angus King, who usually votes with that party.
Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) introduced the socialist Green New Deal resolution in the House of Representatives on Feb. 7; an accompanying resolution was introduced to the Senate the same day. In March, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scheduled a vote on the resolution.
McConnell wrote on Twitter that Americans would see which senators are against the deal and which “are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote ‘no’ on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America’s middle class.”
And they’ll see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote “no” on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America’s middle class.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 26, 2019
Republicans were eager to put Democrats on record as voting for the Green New Deal. The resolution urges Congress to hand the government a monopoly over the U.S.’s energy industry in order to move the nation entirely away from fossil fuels.
The Green New Deal called for a Soviet Union-style 10-year mobilization, which would take all gas-engine cars off the road and upgrade or replace every home and commercial building in the United States.
By one estimate, the Green New Deal would cost U.S. taxpayers up to $93 trillion over the course of the mobilization. In comparison, the total projected government spending for the next 10 years is $66 trillion.
All of the Democratic senators running for president co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
The Senate voted on the Green New Deal today: 0 Yeas, 57 Nays, and 43 Senators voted PRESENT pic.twitter.com/nvcnXA7zPe
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 26, 2019
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper became the first 2020 Democratic candidate to oppose the plan, writing in the Washington Post that it would give the government too much power in investment decisions. To spur innovations needed to curb climate change, “government must not shun the private sector,” Hickenlooper said in the piece.
To achieve the kinds of innovations needed to tackle the climate crisis, government must not shun the private sector, but rather must work closely with industry and our nation’s great research universities to find solutions and scale them rapidly to meet our ambitions.
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) March 26, 2019
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters the Green New Deal was discussed with Trump at a party lunch on Tuesday. Graham said Trump told Republican senators: “Make sure you don’t kill it too much because I want to run against it.”
Two out of three Americans view the Green New Deal as a largely socialist policy, according to a Harris poll. Another poll found that 43 percent of Americans said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who backs the Green New Deal, compared to 30 percent who said they are more likely to do so.
The Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist group of the United States, and Communist Party USA both supported the Green New Deal.
In an interview with Seth Meyers, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the Green New Deal is a resolution rather than a bill, describing it as a broad vision for addressing climate change. Ocasio-Cortez then listed several other socialist policies as part of that vision, including “Medicare for All” and tuition-free public colleges.
Republicans view the Green New Deal as a sign of a far-left shift within the Democratic Party and saw a vote on the resolution as an opportunity to show the public what Democrats thought about the resolution.
President Donald Trump recently brought more attention to socialism in the United States during the State of the Union Speech, telling the nation, “America will never be a socialist country.” The president also lambasted the Green New Deal shortly after the resolution was rolled out.
“I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for the so-called ‘Carbon Footprint’ to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military—even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for the so-called “Carbon Footprint” to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military – even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
While backing the Green New Deal, most Democratic candidates for the White House have recently distanced themselves from the socialist label. Only Sanders remains committed to the label. O’Rourke did not disavow socialism under repeated questioning.
Only 18 percent of Americans view socialism in a positive light, according to a poll by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
The Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov and Reuters contributed to this report.