Ted Cruz Calls Green New Deal ‘Kooky’ and ‘Nutty’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell speaks after a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to put the Democrats' Green New Deal to a vote so "everyone can go on record and see how they feel about" the measures created to fight climate change.

The plan, initially championed by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls for a New Deal-style mobilization to shift the USA economy away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar. McConnell wants to get Democratic presidential candidates on the record about the controversial, but nevertheless exciting policy moonshot, so that Republicans can hit them with attacks mischaracterizing the deal, as Trump did at his El Paso rally on Monday: "I really don't like their policy of taking away your vehicle, of taking away your airplane rights, of 'let's hop a train to California, ' of you're not allowed to own cows anymore!" The principles of the Green New Deal resonate with the American people - a mission to save all of creation by investing in massive job creation. "Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal", McConnell told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

While a number of Senate Democrats have endorsed the Green New Deal, including some who have declared presidential bids for 2020, others have exercised more caution when asked if they will support the measure.

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Republicans largely remained silent on the Green New Deal late previous year when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a cadre of left-leaning Democrats began demanding a select committee in the House devoted to the proposal. Almost all Democrats in Congress who are running for president in 2020 have expressed support for the measure.

Republicans showed on Tuesday that they are ready to use the resolution as a political weapon against those Democrats.

The plan outlines some of the most aggressive climate goals ever put forward by Democratic lawmakers and clashes dramatically with the Trump administration's efforts to advance domestic oil, gas and coal production by rolling back environmental protections. Rather than expose of rift in the party, 43 Democrats made a decision to vote "present" as a show of frustration with the politically motivated maneuver. Senate Democrats used a similar tactic when Republicans introduced a single-payer health care amendment to their 2017 health care bill. The resolution urges elimination of fossil fuels pollution and greenhouse gas emissions "as much as technologically feasible" in a range of economic sectors and calls for "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States" to be energy-efficient.

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"This is now a voting issue across the country", Markey said. "From a Republican point of view, there is money for new barrier fencing and no cap on internal enforcement". Ocasio-Cortez has subsequently described the fact sheet, which has been deleted from her website, as a "draft".

The resolution submitted to the House and Senate makes no mention of cows or air travel.

"For far too long, ideas like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade were touted as the premier solutions to climate change", Ocasio-Cortez said in a series of tweets coinciding with the unveiling of the proposal.

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Other Republicans are prepared to watch with glee.

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