Energy & Environment

Liz Cheney calls for House vote on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal

Stefani Reynolds

The No. 3 Republican in the House is calling on Democratic leaders to hold a vote on the Green New Deal, an aggressive plan to fight climate change.

Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said a vote would help the American people learn where lawmakers stand on the nonbinding resolution that she and others have painted as a socialist plan that would ruin the economy.

“We think Democrats need to be held accountable,” Cheney told reporters Wednesday. “If they support this as they say they do, and as their presidential candidates do, then let’s have a vote on it and see to what extent they’re all going to get behind moving toward this kind of fantasy.”

{mosads}Cheney, whose state is the nation’s top coal producer, said the Democrats backing the proposal “have said they would attempt to eliminate all planes, all air travel, within a decade. The results would be the elimination also of gasoline, the elimination of cars as we know them now.”

The resolution, introduced last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), calls for a quick, 10-year plan to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the United States through an aggressive increase in renewable energy, plus a jobs guarantee and other provisions.

It does not call for the elimination of air travel, gasoline or cars. However, supplementary information from Ocasio-Cortez’s office had said it would expand rail infrastructure to the point that air travel would be “unnecessary.”

Cheney’s call came the day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced his chamber would hold a vote on the resolution.

“We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell told reporters.

Multiple Senate Democrats are running for president in 2020, and McConnell and his colleagues think the vote is an opportunity to highlight what they see as extreme positions among the candidates running against President Trump.

Democrats hold the House majority, so Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who has not backed the resolution, would be responsible for scheduling a vote.

Hoyer’s office did not directly say whether he would heed Cheney’s call.

“Democrats are committed to taking action to address climate change, one of the most pressing issues of our time,” Hoyer said in a statement.

“For far too long, Republicans in Congress have ignored this critical issue. I’m pleased that House Committees have begun to hold hearings on climate change, and I look forward to bringing legislation to the House floor to reduce carbon pollution, help our communities prepare for current and future climate risks, and create clean energy jobs.”

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald Trump Ed Markey Liz Cheney Mitch McConnell Steny Hoyer
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