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Senate Rejects ‘Green New Deal’

Should Congress pass the Green New Deal?

by Countable | 3.26.19

The Senate blocked the Green New Deal resolution on Tuesday with a cloture vote of 0-57, with 43 senators voting present. All Republicans were joined by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) in voting no, while all other senators who caucus as Democrats voted present.

The non-binding resolution would have expressed the sense of Congress that the federal government should develop a Green New Deal mobilization to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and fight income inequality over the course of a decade. It also outlined ambitious goals, such as upgrading all existing buildings in the U.S. to meet energy efficiency standards.

The plan has been criticized for being unaffordable, and while the Congressional Budget Office didn’t estimate the bill’s cost as if it were binding, an analysis by a center-right think tank run by the former head of the CBO estimated the Green New Deal’s 10-year cost at between $51 trillion and $93 trillion.

What’s next for the Green New Deal?

The House has been reluctant to bring up its version of the resolution, authored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

The bill was ridiculed by critics after a draft FAQ released by Ocasio-Cortez’s office explained that the resolution’s goal was net-zero greenhouse gas emissions rather than zero emissions “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

The FAQ also called for the elimination of nuclear energy, investment in high-speed rail to the point that "air travel becomes unnecessary", and guaranteed “economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) initially called the plan a “green dream” and has so far refused to commit to holding a vote on the Green New Deal, saying:

“I can’t say we’re going to take that and pass it because we have to go through our checks and balances of it with our committee chairs and the rest… We welcome all the enthusiasm that people want to put on the table, and the Green New Deal is one of them, but we have to operate in a way that’s evidence-based, current in its data.”


— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / huangyifei)

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