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March 28 2019

Who Were the Dems Who Voted Against the Green New Deal?

by Charlotte Hays

All Republicans voted against the Green New Deal resolution, and 43 Democrats tried to skirt the issue by courageously sitting on their hands and voting present.

But three Democrats voted with the GOP.

Who these renegades and why did they do it?

They were: Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

Senator Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted against the Green New Deal.

It is obvious why Manchin, from a coal producing state, and Jones, from generally bright red Alabama, voted against the Green New Deal.

Sinema's vote is more interesting.

 Sinema, who has said that climate change is a "crisis," was likely representing the views of her district (like Jones). She moved closer to the middle in her senatorial campaign. She struck a middle position on the Green New Deal, too:

"We need to address a changing climate with realistic, achievable solutions," she said in a statement. "Congress should stop the political games and work together on practical solutions that foster a healthy environment, grow our economy, and help Arizona families get ahead."

King issued a statement on his vote:

“I agree with proponents of the Green New Deal that we need decisive action and ambitious goals to protect our planet for future generations,” said King, an independent who usually votes with Democrats, in a statement. “But at the same time, I believe that the best way to fully address this challenge is to set realistic goals.”

In other words, the Green New Deal is off the wall unrealistic.

The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer tried to pooh-pooh the vote as just a Republican stunt (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forcing Democrats to go on record on the GND):

Very little of the drama on Tuesday mattered in a lasting way. The Green New Deal resolution was always doomed to fail, since Republicans hold a majority in the upper chamber. And even its successful passage may not have meant much. The Green New Deal, as it stands today, is a nonbinding plan to make a plan. While its supporters envision a Herculean effort to remake the economy while fighting climate change, its current text is extremely vague, authorizing no new programs in any useful detail.

This doesn't do justice to Tuesday's vote.

Meyer rightly called the Green New Deal a "Herculean effort to remake the economy while fighting climate change" that is currently "extremely vague."

But here's the deal: The less vague it gets, the more trouble it will have getting votes.

When you spell out draconian measures progressives want, it is important to remember that most ordinary Americans don't support a "Herculean effort" to remake the country.

And some some senators come from districts where these benighted, regular folks live.

These senators will not always be able to sit on their hands.

Tuesday's vote also showed that Democratic unity on a plan this unrealistic in unlikely--unless opponents fail to make clear what a Green New Deal, or some iteration thereof, would do to our economy--and thus our way of life.

Opponents should also continue to highlight the inherent elitism of the Green New Deal.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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