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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down Trump ahead of New Hampshire speech: Lewandowski would be 'fantastic' senator MORE (N.Y.) knocked his Republican counterpart on Wednesday, saying Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Energy: Trump sparks new fight over endangered species protections | States sue over repeal of Obama power plant rules | Interior changes rules for ethics watchdogs To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies Democrats, environmentalists blast Trump rollback of endangered species protections MORE (D-Mass.).