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 SandersFiscal conservatives should support postal reform  Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report Five Democrats the left plans to target MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE (Vt.), who caucus with the party — are backing the non-binding resolution being introduced by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperNearly 200 Democrats back EPA in Supreme Court emissions case Bottom line Biden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures  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 McConnellHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Trump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The Armageddon elections to come 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."