Sometimes, the United States Senate makes momentous decisions that alter the course of history and affect the lives of every American. Other times, the august body takes a vote on a bill just to embarrass the legislation's backers.
A vote Tuesday will be distinctly of the latter variety.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will put a proposal laid out by House newcomer Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which she calls the "Green New Deal," to a full Senate vote on Tuesday. And he's positively giddy about it (as giddy as McConnell gets, that is).
"I could not be more glad that the American people will have the opportunity to learn precisely where each one of their senators stand on the 'Green New Deal,'" McConnell wrote Monday on Twitter. "A radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy."
McConnell's move will put Democrats on the record as to whether they support the Green New Deal.
Under the draft plan, Ocasio-Cortez proposes eliminating all fossil-fuel-powered electricity. That would shutter all coal and natural gas power plants across the United States, costing hundred of thousands of jobs. Oh, and she also wants to get rid of all gas-powered cars — in 10 years — along with planes, too. Did we mention cows? Yeah, cows, too.
According to a prematurely released outline of the deal, which was later retracted, the New York Democratic socialist and fellow bill sponsor Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) "set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast."
What's more, the plan calls for a guarantee for every American to have a job, pledging to "provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one."
While the duo's estimate of the cost runs about $7 trillion, PJ Media did its own tabulation and put the price tag much more like $50 trillion. That's 8,000 times what President Trump wanted to fund construction of a barrier on America's southern border. The conservative American Action Forum said the program would actually cost $93 trillion over 10 years.
Ocasio-Cortez has ripped the coming Senate vote — which will not pass because Republicans control the chamber — as "wasting votes in Congress."
"The GOP’s whole game of wasting votes in Congress to target others 'on the record', for leg they have no intent to pass, is a disgrace," she wrote Saturday on Twitter. "Stop wasting the American peoples’ time + learn to govern. Our jobs aren’t for campaigning, & that’s exactly what these bluff-votes are for."
Republicans, though, feel just the opposite. "It’s the gift that keeps on giving," said Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), according to the New York Times.
The Times also said many Democrats will not go on the record in the Tuesday vote. "Several Democrats said the caucus still is not unified on how to approach the vote on the Green New Deal, though most are expected to vote 'present.'"