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Senate Democrats introduce 'Green New Deal' alternative

Senate Democrats introduce 'Green New Deal' alternative
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats introduced a joint resolution Thursday meant to unify the party around a common climate change plan as Republicans seek to rip the party over the "Green New Deal."

The concise nine-line resolution introduced by Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperWhite House intervened to weaken EPA guidance on 'forever chemicals' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Capitol in Chaos | Trump's Arctic refuge drilling sale earns just fraction of GOP prediction | EPA finds fuel efficiency dropped, pollution spiked for 2019 vehicles EPA finalizes 'secret science' rule, limiting use of public health research MORE (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee, commits Democrats to acknowledging climate change is happening, that it’s human caused and that something must be done.

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“Climate change is real, human activity during the last century is the dominant cause of the climate crisis; and the United States and Congress should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate change,” the resolution reads in its entirety.

All 47 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus signed on to co-sponsor the legislation.

“We have an obligation in the body of the House to do something about it,” said Carper on the Senate floor Thursday.

The resolution is meant as an alternative to the Green New Deal resolution introduced in early February by Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyFive centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote David Sirota: Democrats gave away leverage in forcing vote on ,000 checks Sanders to slow down NDAA veto override in bid to get vote on K checks proposal MORE (D-Mass.). Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE (R-Ky.) fast-tracked the vote on the resolution two weeks ago in an effort to highlight a Democratic divide over the plan.  

While McConnell recently hinted at a pushed back timeline as far off as August, Democrats had planned to vote “present” on the plan to avoid appearing misaligned on their climate stance.

The latest proposal would circumvent that need.

While the new resolution doesn’t offer any specific plans to decrease emissions and combat climate change, Democratic leaders championed it as a push in the right direction as Republicans failed to back or introduce any climate bills of their own.

“Until they in the majority put a plan on the floor as to what they would do with climate change, they don’t have much standing,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Democrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) told Politico Tuesday. He called McConnell’s planned vote on the Green New Deal a “sham.”

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBottom line Trump vetoes bipartisan driftnet fishing bill Dumping Abraham Lincoln? A word of advice to the 'cancel culture' MORE (D-Calif.) earlier in the week suggested that she too will be introducing her own alternative resolution on climate change. Calling the Green New Deal “too political” and including “too much,” she told The Hill her resolution would be focused more on science.

A draft of her resolution was released mistakenly last week, according to Feinstein. She said the resolution would be introduced in upcoming weeks.