Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Friday, she is ‘very encouraged’ by this week’s Senate vote on the Green New Deal she introduced…even though the measure was soundly defeated.
Republicans in the Senate uniformly oppose the plan aimed at weaning the U.S. off fossil fuels to combat climate change.
But they scheduled the unusual vote anyway...aiming to force Democrats to take a public stand.
It didn’t work.
The non-binding resolution failed 57 to ZERO — with all Republicans voting “no“ and 43 Democrats voting ‘present’ to avoid an up-or-down vote.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRAT MEMBER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR NEW YORK, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYING:What it was was that you had the Republicans voting, 'no.'
And you had virtually the entire Democratic caucus voting, 'present.'
Even those in tough states.
You know, there was maybe one, or one to three exceptions, but that is an extraordinary amount of unity within the Senate to actually vote in that cohesive of a bloc.
So I'm very encouraged." The Green New Deal marks an initial attempt to push BIG government-led investments in clean energy.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRAT MEMBER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR NEW YORK, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYING: “What these are, are actual investments that do bring back returns...." Wind and solar power, infrastructure and social programs are at the top of the agenda... one that Republicans have criticized as being 'too radical.'
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER, KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SAYING: "This Green New Deal affects too much of every aspect of our life.” Not only the climate change plan — but Ocasio-Cortez herself — has become a target and a means for Republicans to go after the Democratic party as they gear up for the 2020 election.
But Ocasio-Cortez -- often portrayed as a rising star of the political left -- shrugged it off: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRAT MEMBER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR NEW YORK, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYING: "How I really feel — to borrow from one of my colleagues — you can’t hate up close.”