by WorldTribune Staff, March 27, 2019
It was a dark day on one side of the aisle.
Still reeling from the Mueller report verdict, Democrats in the Senate decried what they called a “sham vote” on the Green New Deal while Democrats in the House failed to persuade enough Republicans to join them in an attempt to override President Donald Trump’s first veto.
The Senate on March 26 voted down S.J. Res. 8, the Green New Deal Resolution, 0-57, with all Republicans, three Democrats, and one Independent voting against it. Forty-three Democrats voted “present”.
In the House, 14 Republicans voted with Democrats on March 26 in another attempt to end Trump’s national emergency on the border. But the 248-181 vote to overturn the president’s veto of legislation blocking the border emergency declaration fell 38 votes shy of the required two-thirds margin.
In the Senate, no senator voted to begin debate on the Green New Deal legislation, while 57 lawmakers voted against breaking the filibuster. Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 53 Republicans in voting “no.” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted “no.” To begin debate on the non-binding resolution, 60 “yes” votes were needed.
Even if Democrats voted “present,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the March 26 vote put them on the record in favor of the Green New Deal, which calls for the transformation of the American economy and infrastructure, including ending air travel and retrofitting every building in America.
“I ask again if you believe the Green New Deal is the prescription for America, why would you not want to have a vote?” McConnell told reporters ahead of the vote.
McConnell said that by “basically outlawing the only sources of energy that working-class and middle-class families can actually afford,” the Green New Deal would “kill off entire domestic industries” and eliminate millions of jobs. The plan could lead to a spike in household electric bills of over $300 a month, he said.
Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, argued against the Green New Deal by mocking two of the most often ridiculed proposals in the resolution: eliminating air travel and flatulating cows.
“Unlike others, I’m not immediately afraid of what the Green New Deal would do to the economy and our government. After all, this isn’t going to pass — not today, not any time soon certainly,” Lee said on the Senate floor. “After reading the Green New Deal, I’m mostly afraid of not being able to get through this speech with a straight face — I rise today to consider the Green New Deal with the seriousness it deserves.”
Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, who sponsored the resolution in the Senate, said at a press conference before the vote that climate change “is the national security, economic, health care and moral issue of our time. We must act now.”
“Republicans and President Trump may choose to be in denial about the consequences of climate change,” Markey said. “But to ordinary people, climate change is not politics. It is life and death.”
“It is not a resolution,” Markey said. “It is a revolution.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat and the Green New Deal’s main sponsor in the House, tweeted following the vote that she had encouraged Senate Democrats to vote “present” on the resolution.
“McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing,” she wrote. “The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change?”
In the House, the 14 Republicans who voted with Democrats to end the national emergency were: Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennyslvania, Jamie Herrera Butler of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Francis Rooney of Florida, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Elise Stefanik of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, Greg Walden of Oregon, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and John Katko of New York.
“Many Republicans have said they oppose any form of executive overreach, which includes former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty,” Breitbart News noted. “However, one federal district judge ruled in August 2018 that DACA was illegal, whereas many lawyers have argued that Trump has the authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to re-appropriate money to build the wall.”
The House vote comes as a Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump’s national emergency on the border.
Rep. Mo Brooks, Alabama Republican, issued a statement on March 26 reiterating his support for Trump’s national emergency.
Brooks said: “I wish Congress cared about protecting American lives as much as President Trump does. I fully support President Trump’s border security national emergency declaration, and I will vote today to sustain President Trump’s veto of the open-borders emergency declaration disapproval bill.”