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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAlan Dershowitz: In defense of Chelsea Clinton O'Rourke: Decisions on late-term abortions 'best left to a woman and her doctor' CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Shanahan grilled on Pentagon's border wall funding Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law MORE (Vt.), who caucus with the party — are backing the non-binding resolution being introduced by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Why we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Lobbying world Koch-backed group pushes for new limits on Trump's tariff authority 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 McConnellGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left 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. 
 
 
"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."