House Republicans can force a Green New Deal vote too — here's how

On Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE brought Democrats’ “Green New Deal” resolution up for a vote on the Senate floor. In doing so, McConnell handed radical Democrats a shovel, allowing them to keep digging a deeper hole for their party.

Although Speaker Pelosi is currently blocking the GND from receiving a vote in the House of Representatives, House Republicans have a path forward through parliamentary procedure to follow the Senate’s lead and force a tough vote for Democrats.

The Green New Deal (GND), championed by self-described socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhy Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence The Hill Interview: Jerry Brown on climate disasters, COVID-19 and Biden's 'Rooseveltian moment' House Democrats postpone vote on marijuana decriminalization bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and her allies, is a far-reaching, radical climate proposal estimated to cost taxpayers a whopping $93 trillion.

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The GND incorporates a broad socialist agenda which includes policy ideas such as ending air travel, eliminating fossil fuels and nuclear power in roughly a decade, unionized government-provided jobs and “economic security” for anyone “unable or unwilling to work.” The resolution even manages to slide in a “tiny” carbon tax that’s had French citizens rioting in Paris for over 18 weeks.

The unpopularity of the GND among voters is clear. The GND’s author and cheerleader, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, has declined from a 34-29 percent favorable-unfavorable rating in New York State before the Green New Deal was released to a 31-44 rating afterward. Given Ocasio-Cortez was already uniquely unpopular with Republicans, it’s fair to assume most of the drop off is from independents and Democrat voters.

Faced with the prospect of voting up or down on their Green New Deal, 43 Senate Democrats voted “present” to avoid being on the record altogether. As McConnell held Democrats’ feet to the fire over the GND, Senate Democrats buried their heads in the sand.

Good luck to any Democrat on the campaign trail who has continually promised the world will end in 12 years if their Green New Deal isn’t passed, while simultaneously refusing to vote for it in Congress.

Republicans in the House now have the ability to put Pelosi and House Democrats in a similar bind. They can do so with a tactful use of parliamentary procedure known as a discharge petition — a motion that if signed by an absolute majority of 218 members will operate as an effective workaround to Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE.

Thankfully, Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HicePelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership House Republicans investigating California secretary of state's contract with Biden-linked firm GOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China MORE (R-Ga.) has already taken the necessary steps to begin procedures on a discharge petition and previously filed his own resolution for immediate consideration of the Green New Deal.

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As soon as procedurally possible, which in this case is 30 legislative days from introduction — roughly the end of April — Rep. Hice can file a discharge petition on his resolution and begin collecting signatures. If every Republican and roughly 20 Democrats agree to sign on, the GND will be placed on the House Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees, where, after seven days, any signer can motion for discharge. Then a vote will be held whether or not to bring the resolution to the House floor.

Although the parliamentary procedures are fairly technical, the idea boils down to Republicans finding 20 Democrats brave enough to hold a vote on the GND — a resolution which has 89 Democrat cosponsors in the House.

Every Republican should back Rep, Hice’s idea, and the concept should be promoted by Republican leadership. There is no losing outcome for Republicans in this scenario. If the discharge petition is successful, then Democrats will have to vote and take an unpopular position. If the petition fails to gain Democratic signers, then Democrats will have to explain to their constituents why they oppose holding a vote on legislation they endorse and do so without pointing the finger at Pelosi.

Given the GND’s clear extremism and widespread embrace from Democratic lawmakers, Republicans are right to treat the resolution seriously and allot it floor time in Congress. Currently, more than 100 Congressional Democrats have singed their names as cosponsors of the Green New Deal and a total of 11 Democratic presidential candidates have embraced it on the campaign trail for the party’s nomination. If Democrats are comfortable campaigning on the Green New Deal, they have no business complaining about being allowed to vote on it.

Every voter has a right to know how their lawmakers stand on the Green New Deal. We should have a vote.

Mike Palicz is federal affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform