Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema US gymnasts offer scathing assessment of FBI The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Simone Biles, gymnastics stars slam FBI during Nassar testimony MORE (D-Ill.) on Wednesday declined to say if he will vote for the "Green New Deal" resolution, saying that after he read it he asked a key sponsor of the legislation, "What in the heck is this?"
"At this point, I would be — I can't tell ya, to be honest with you. I've read it, and I've reread it. And I asked Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE what in the — what in the heck is this? He says it is an aspiration, you know, it's a resolution aspiration," Durbin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," referring to the Democratic senator from Massachusetts.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Hassan launches first ad of reelection bid focusing on veterans' issues MORE (R-Ky.) is expected to force a vote on the resolution, which Republicans believe will provide fodder for 2020 elections by forcing a handful of Democratic presidential hopefuls to go on the record for or against the measure.
The resolution, unveiled earlier this month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezConservative group files ethics complaint over Ocasio-Cortez appearance at Met Gala If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) and Markey, is nonbinding but backs net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the United States while saying it would create millions of “good, high-wage jobs."
Eleven Democrats, including Markey, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack trillion tax hike the opposite of 'good investment' Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished MORE (I-Vt.) have formally signed on to the resolution.
Though the resolution has been championed by progressives and a coalition of outside groups, several Senate Democrats are keeping the measure at arm's length and have declined to say if they would vote for it in its current form.
Durbin sidestepped a question on Wednesday about what he thought about the resolution, quipping that it is "long," but that he agrees "with the premise; global warming is a threat to the planet."
Top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.), have brushed off the GOP tactics and signaled they want to turn the tables on Republicans by trying to shift the spotlight to the GOP record on combatting global warming.
"What we're going to do is ask the Republican leader — what's your position on global warming, while we're at it? Shouldn't you come out on the record and tell us whether you believe that human activity is having an impact on our environment?" Durbin added Wednesday. "Let's get on the record on both sides."
The resolution won't pass in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes and no Republicans will support it. But, Schumer said late last week that if the Senate was able to bring the resolution to the floor, Democrats wanted to be able to offer and get votes on potential changes to the measure.
"We Democrats demand our own amendment votes," Schumer said. "Let's see if anything has changed since 2015 when only five brave Republicans were able to vote yes on a resolution saying climate change is real and caused by humans."