Schumer blasted McConnell for scheduling a "sham" vote on the Green New Deal right before members of the upper chamber will vote on a funding package for disaster relief, arguing climate change and natural disasters are unquestionably related. But, at the same time, many progressives, including Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, the resolution's sponsor in the House, recognize that the program's significance extends beyond any particular policy plank.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on his potential 2020 presidential bid, the political fallout from the Mueller report, the Green New Deal, health care, the mounting us debt and immigration reform.
Republicans have mocked the Green New Deal as a progressive pipedream that would drive the economy off a cliff and lead to a huge tax increase. He also said socialism would destroy Democracy and free enterprise.
"Let there be no doubt: These disasters are magnified precisely because of climate change", Schumer said Monday on the Senate floor.
The attacks have succeeded in putting Democrats on the spot, with some backing the resolution, others downplaying it as aspirational and those in positions of power - such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - calling it one proposal among many to address climate change.
Other 2020 presidential contenders did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. It calls for virtual elimination by 2030 of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming. "The Green New Deal has struck a powerful chord in this country, and it is igniting the movement of young people who are ready to make this the organizing issue for their generation".
The Utah Republican, a serious conservative not generally known for prop-supported political stunts, said his point was that the Democrats' Green New Deal was as absurd as the poster he was showing. The AFL-CIO says it makes promises "that are not achievable or realistic", adding that the union "will not stand by and allow threats to our members' jobs and their families' standard of living go unanswered".
But Democrats" plan to counter his maneuver with one of their own: they will vote "present' - which does not count towards or against passage but does contribute to the quorum, meaning the lawmaker does not have a missing vote on their record. They called the vote a "sham", complained they'd been ambushed and never considered Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to be a viable option.
"They've made attempts to block action on climate change by repealing the Clean Power Plan, opposing the Paris Climate Agreement and opposing the EPA's endangerment finding", New York Democratic Sen. "But what is their plan then?" "Republicans owe the American people some real answers".
"We Democrats are on offense", he said.
"This image", he said, "has as much to do with overcoming communism in the 20th century as the Green New Deal has to do with overcoming climate change in the 21st".
McConnell's plan, Markey asserted on the Senate floor after the press conference, was also aimed at distracting the American public from the fact that Republicans have no plan to combat the climate crisis-and indeed, still counts among its ranks 150 lawmakers including President Donald Trump who deny that the crisis is even taking place and that human activity is fueling it. "But they kind of avert their eyes because that's where the energy of the party is and nobody wants to be on the wrong end. He and his colleagues want to make a mockery of the national debate that we have started with the Green New Deal".
The PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.