Senate Dems seek to turn tables on GOP in climate change fight

Senate Dems seek to turn tables on GOP in climate change fight
© Greg Nash
Senate Democrats are introducing a resolution urging Congress to act to combat climate change as they try to shift the spotlight on the issue back to Republicans. 
 
All 47 Democrats — including Independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey MORE (Vt.), who caucus with the party — are backing the non-binding resolution being introduced by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them Overnight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules when appointing industry leaders to science boards MORE (D-Del.), according to a Democratic leadership source. 
 
Carper, speaking from the Senate floor, said the resolution would touch on three things that "we all agree on." 
 
"Number one, we agree that climate change is real. Two, human activity during the last 100 years is a dominant cause of the climate change crisis we face today. And three, the United States, and especially the Congress … and the administration should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate challenge," Carper said. 
 
The climate change resolution comes as Democrats are in the middle of a high-profile fight over the progressive Green New Deal resolution, with several moderate senators and even members of leadership stopping short of saying they will back the proposal. 
 
The leadership source added that the Carper-Schumer resolution would be "one of many steps" that Democrats would be using "to go on offense on climate change and highlight Republican climate deniers and Sen. McConnell's cynical Green New Deal vote."
 
Democrats will be looking "to get Republicans on record on climate change," the source said.
  
Carper, speaking from the Senate floor, said he thinks Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (R-Ky.) is hoping that the Green New Deal vote will inflict "some damage" on Democrats, who have spit over the resolution spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). 
 
"We cannot, we will not, allow cynicism to win. Not now and not with so much at stake. When it comes to climate action, there could not be a starker difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in this debate in this chamber," he said. 
 
McConnell told reporters earlier Tuesday that a vote on the Green New Deal resolution would take place by the August recess. 
 
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.
 
But Republicans have seized on it as fodder for the 2020 White House election, where many Senate Democrats are vying for their party's nomination. A vote on the proposal would force them to go on the record and potentially help fuel attacks in the presidential race. 
 
Democrats have blasted the tactic by McConnell, arguing that Republicans have done nothing to confront climate change since they gained control of the chamber in 2016. 
 
Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime Overnight Energy: Scientists flee USDA as research agencies move to Kansas City area | Watchdog finds EPA skirted rules to put industry reps on boards | New rule to limit ability to appeal pollution permits MORE (R.I.), Brian Schtaz (Hawaii) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichHillicon Valley: Harris spikes in Google searches after debate clash with Biden | Second US city blocks facial recognition | Apple said to be moving Mac Pro production from US to China | Bipartisan Senate bill takes aim at 'deepfake' videos Senators unveil bipartisan bill to target 'deepfake' video threat Senate Democrats wish talk on reparations would go away MORE (N.M.) sent a letter to McConnell on Tuesday asking for a full day of floor debate before a vote on the Green New Deal resolution. 
 
"The Senate has always been the place where our nation’s great policy debates occur. We owe it both to the institution as well as our constituents to stop ignoring this crisis and instead debate the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change," they wrote. 
 
Whitehouse, in a separate floor speech on Tuesday, knocked McConnell saying he was the vote was a "truly preposterous exercise."