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 SandersYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall Bipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year MORE (Vt.), who caucus with the party — are backing the non-binding resolution being introduced by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperLawmakers grill manufacturers over 'forever chemicals' contamination EPA ordered to set stronger smog standards America is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction 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 McConnellSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Harris keeps up 'little dude' attack on Trump after debate 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 WhitehouseSenate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE (R.I.), Brian Schtaz (Hawaii) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall Overnight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador 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."