Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he plans a floor vote on the Green New Deal resolution proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and endorsed by many congressional Democrats. McConnell wants Senate Democrats to go on record on this radical proposal. He especially wants those running for president and those who may face tough reelection campaigns in 2020 to do so.
Would such a vote be a stunt? You could call it that, but you could also use the same word to describe a great many votes in both chambers.
The Green New Deal is a big deal, potentially. I see no reason why the Senate shouldn’t express its view of the idea.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to McConnell by saying, in effect, bring it on. She stated:
[McConnell] is trying to bully the party and he’s banking on people not being courageous. I think people should call his bluff.
When McConnell banks on something, he usually has good reason to. This seems like a case-in-point.
Consider Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate’s most left-wing members and a potential candidate for president. Yesterday, he said he supports addressing “climate change aggressively,” but would not weigh in on the merits of the Green New Deal.
I’m not going to get in the position of every time somebody has a good idea or a big idea that I have to talk in great detail about my position on it.
If he runs for president, Brown should talk in detail about his position on big ideas. In any case, McConnell wouldn’t be asking Brown to talk in detail about his position. He’d only be asking him to take one.
Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard, both presidential candidates, bobbed and weaved when asked about the Green New Deal, according to this account in the Washington Post. McConnell will do the electorate a favor if he forces them and others to take a stance (or to refuse to vote).
A vote would shed some light on the Democratic field. We don’t want our democracy to die in darkness.