Democrats Divided On ‘Green New Deal’

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Democrats in the U.S. Senate are divided over the “Green New Deal,” making the likelihood of the legislation passing slim, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The “Green New Deal” has sown division among Democratic senators, many of whom question the practicality of the resolution. The proposed legislation, introduced by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aims to tackle climate change and other environmental concerns, but it comes at an expense.

Enacting the bill would require significant financial resources, which has caused concern for a number of Democratic senators, including  Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

“At this stage, I am not a supporter of it because it’s been looked at very cursorily and if you read the language, it’s a very big program with a huge governmental cost,” Feinstein said to TheDCNF. “None of that’s been looked at.”

Other senators mentioned their disapproval for the legislation, saying they believe there are more realistic ways to combat climate change.

“It’s an aspirational document. We have to do something about the existential threat of climate change,” Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin told TheDCNF.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein arrives at a weekly Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats held the weekly policy lunch to discuss Democratic agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Other senators, including Minnesota Democrat and 2020 hopeful Amy Klobuchar and Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, also remained noncommittal on the question of whether they will support the package.

“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Senator Schumer or McConnell about that,” said Klobuchar.

Jones reiterated this sentiment: “I haven’t looked at all the details. I just need to look at it. I don’t know when it’s going to be brought from the floor yet. I just don’t know at this point.”

Despite some Democrats outright dismissing the package in its current form as impractical, others, including several 2020 contenders gave it their full endorsement. (RELATED: Former Obama Aide Says Green New Deal Rollout Blunder Puts Climate Fight At Risk)

For example, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was no-holds-barred in her support for the resolution. When asked by TheDCNF if she would be supporting the Green New Deal, without hesitation Gillibrand responded, “Of course I am!”

Other Senate Democrats who approved of the legislation were Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a co-sponsor, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who is also a co-sponsor, and Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

“Well the principles in terms of tackling new energy jobs and climate change are very, very important. So it’s a broad set of goals of where we’d like to go,” Stabenow told TheDCNF.

Stir among the Democrats squanders the chances of the bill passing, with Republicans all likely to vote no on the measure.

“First of all, I don’t even think all the Democrats will vote for it,” Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told TheDCNF. “So obviously, then, it doesn’t go any place.” Grassley also said the “it’s very unrealistic,” mentioning Democrats desire to cut back air travel.

When asked if the legislation was likely to pass the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told TheDCNF, “I hope not!”

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Paul Ingrassia and Connor Moldo contributed to this report.

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Tags : alexandria ocasio cortez amy klobuchar green new deal
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