This post was last updated on April 2nd, 2019 at 01:21 pm
The US Senate defeated a motion of accepting Green New Deal, a non-agreement proposal headed by the progressive Democratic lawmakers to reduce greenhouse gases and to lessen social inequality. Journalist Thomas Friedman first coined the term Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal is a proposed program that aims to address climatic changes and economic inequalities. It is a set of economic reforms and public works project, which combines Roosevelt’s economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency. It is a list of ideas and ideals, and suggests that new climate change regulations could reach to $1 trillion.
Post 2018 midterm elections, 18 Democratic members of Congress sponsored a House Select Committee on the Green New Deal proposal , and representatives Ayanna Pressley and Joe Neguse announced their support organizations on the proposal which included 350.org, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth. In addition, a group of 300 local elected officials from 40 states issued a letter and endorsed the deal in Dec 2018.
A fourteen-page resolution was released for the Green New Deal on February 7. The approach pushed for transitioning the United States to use 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources, including investment into electric cars and high-speed rail systems, and implemented the “social cost of carbon” that had been a part of the Obama administration plans for addressing climate change within 10 years.
The deal also aimed to address poverty with much of the improvements in the “frontline and vulnerable communities”. Its purpose is to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions virtually by 2030 and called for the US to switch from fossil fuels such as oil and coal. It also urges national healthcare coverage and job guarantees, high-quality education and affordable housing, as well as “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States” to be energy-efficient. To gain additional support, the resolution included calls for universal health care, increased minimum wages, and prevented monopoly.
Republican leaders in the Senate considered the voting of Tuesday as a very important issue for the 2020 elections, the outcome would help them to force the Democrats to take a stance for or against the Green New Deal proposal. The proposal was very popular amongst the Democrats and was being criticized by many Conservatives. Lawmakers ultimately voted 57-0 against the proposal. Three democrats and independent senator Angus King of Maine ultimately joined all 53 Republicans in opposing the plan.
Republicans said the Green New Deal plan would devastate the economy and would lead to huge tax increase. President Trump also weighed in against the plan, which the White House called “job crushing”.
At a luncheon with Senate Republicans, Trump urged lawmakers to keep the Green New Deal alive as an issue to use against Democrats. Mike Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, called the deal “ridiculous” and displayed pictures of dinosaurs, cartoon characters, and babies as he derided the plan. He said he was treating it “with the seriousness it deserves”.
Many who supported the goals of the Green New Deal expressed their doubts about its feasibility. On the other hand, the Democrats raised concerns regarding the climate change citing floods in the Midwest, wildfires in the west and hurricanes in the south.
A Democratic senator from Massachusetts and the resolution’s lead Senate author, Ed Markey said, “Climate change is not a joke” and “Mocking it is shameful”. Though the climate change has already had observable effects on the environment, the outcome after knowing the fact is yet the same.
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