Dems vote 'present' as Senate votes down Green New Deal
It was time for Senate Democrats to put up or shut up about the Green New Deal yesterday as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sprang his trap and scheduled an up-or-down vote on the plan.
The Democrats protested that the vote was a sham. It was. But by scheduling the vote, McConnell forced Democrats into a corner: vote "yes" and look like a socialist nutcase, or vote "no" and open yourself up to charges of hypocrisy.
All 43 Senate Democrats voted "present." This was an irony, considering that the Democrats would have dearly loved not to be anywhere near the chamber at all during the vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the ambitious plan to create jobs and improve the environment to a vote to force Democrats to take a public stand on the measure and try to divide the party's moderates and progressives.
The final vote was 57 against and no one for the plan, with 43 Democrats voting present.
Red State Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted no.
"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': a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire US economy," McConnell tweeted.
Democrats, including New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called the vote a political stunt.
"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. Stop wasting the American peoples' time + learn to govern. Our jobs aren't for campaigning, & that's exactly what these bluff-votes are for," the freshman lawmaker clapped back on Twitter this week.
Of course the vote was political. All votes are political questions, and the answer Democrats gave was loud and clear: they talk a good game on climate change but won't risk their political careers to address it.
If global warming was as dire as people like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says it is, the Green New Deal would be vitally necessary. It would have the overwhelming support of the people and members of Congress. Instead, hysterics like Ocasio-Cortez bray about the end of the world and try to gin up fear about climate change, looking to ride the issue to gain power and influence.
Democrats were forced to play a bad hand on the Green New Deal and ended up folding quickly.