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Schumer: McConnell plan to force 'Green New Deal' vote a 'diversion'

Schumer: McConnell plan to force 'Green New Deal' vote a 'diversion'
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (N.Y.) knocked his Republican counterpart on Wednesday, saying Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE's (R-Ky.) plan to force a vote on the "Green New Deal" is a "diversion" from having a debate on climate change.

"The games they are playing here will have no meaning. This is not a debate. It's a diversion. It's a sham," Schumer said from the Senate floor.

Democrats are introducing a climate change resolution, which will be supported by the entire caucus, as part of their strategy to kick the spotlight in the climate change fight back to Republicans.

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Schumer, previewing that strategy, added that there is an "enormous" silence among Republicans on how to confront climate change.

"We're going to keep asking him, and every Republican in this chamber what they would do about climate change, about global warming," he added.

Republicans have seized on the Green New Deal, a blueprint to battle climate change, as they hunt for fodder heading into the 2020 presidential race, with several Democratic senators battling for their party's nomination.

McConnell said on Tuesday that he would force a vote on the resolution before the Senate leaves for the August recess. He added on Wednesday that Democrats will get "go on record" about if they "really support this fantasy novel masquerading as public policy."

"It's clear what we have here. It's the far-left's Santa Claus wish list dressed up to look like serious policy. Now, bad ideas are nothing new … silly proposals come and go. But the philosophies and the ideas behind this textbook socialism are not just foolish. They're dangerous," the GOP leader added.

The Green New Deal, which strives for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the United States while creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs,” has zero chance of passing in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes to advance.

The resolution was introduced earlier this month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Ocasio-Cortez defends Harry Styles wearing dress on Vogue cover: 'It looks wonderful' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (D-Mass.).