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Senate set to vote on ambitious Green New Deal to fight climate change

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March 26 (UPI) — Senate Republicans will vote Tuesday afternoon on the Green New Deal, a Democratic proposal that aims to wean the United States off fossil fuels within 11 years.

The Green New Deal has been described as an overhaul to U.S. energy and infrastructure industries to reduce carbon emissions and effects of global warming. It calls for the United States to shift to entirely renewable energy by 2030, including use of solar and win power. The proposal is almost sure to fail because it requires 60 votes to pass and there are just 47 Democrats and Independents in the chamber.

“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 U.S. economy,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell tweeted Monday.

McConnell said he wants to highlight freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a socialist with radical ideas that are emblematic of the Democratic Party.

“In recent months our nation has watched the Democratic Party take a sharp and abrupt left turn toward socialism,” McConnell said this month. “A flawed ideology that has been rejected time and again across the world is now driving the marquee policy proposals of the new House Democratic majority, and nothing encapsulates this as clearly as the huge, self-inflicted, national wound the Democrats are agitating for called the Green New Deal.”

Senate lawmakers will vote at 4 p.m. EDT.

Democratic Sen. Edward Markey, who worked with Ocasio-Cortez on the bill, called the Senate vote a “sham” and said many Democrats are planning to vote “present” during the procedural vote — in both protest and a show of party unity.

“I’m for it, but I have no problem voting ‘present,'” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.

Democrats say the GOP plan could backfire because it mocks an issue that’s become important to many voters.

“I think it’s a real stupid political move for them to show how cavalier they are about climate change by playing games with the Green New Deal,” said Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. “If they don’t like the Green New Deal, fine, put up your own idea. It smells so disingenuous, especially to young voters. I think it’s a really dumb move for them to mess around with this.”

Several Senate Democrats who co-sponsored the plan are running for president in 2020, including Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

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