On Tuesday the US Senate rejected a controversial proposal commonly known as the "Green New Deal". The legislation has been voted down with 57 votes against, while most Democrats simply voted "present", abstaining from any vote whatsoever.
Three Democrats — Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — joined the Republicans and also voted "no". Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted "present", while Independent Senator Angus King of Maine also voted "no".
Tuesday's vote is widely perceived as an attempt by Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch Mcconnell of Kentucky to force Democrats to cast their vote, cementing their views on the controversial deal and thus highlighting the split between the moderate and the more radical left-leaning Dems. According to a Vox report, the Dems almost unanimously voted "present" as a "means of calling out Republicans" for their plan.
"What McConnell's doing is that he's trying to rush this bill to the floor without a hearing, without any markups, without working through committee — because he doesn't want to save our planet", she said according to Vox.
The Green New Deal failed to reach the obligatory 60 votes to begin debate on the measure, Fox News noted.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said Democrats were being hypocritical by refusing to vote for their own plan.
"I've never seen a bill sponsored by a dozen people who don't want to vote on it", he said.
The Green New Deal aims to make the US a zero-emissions country in just 10 years, by abolishing the use of fossil fuels and switching the entire economy to renewable sources of energy.
"The truth is even if we zero out our country's use of fossil fuels tomorrow, we must face the facts that other nations have invested in and will continue to use fossil fuels to develop their economies for decades to come. We cannot successfully address our climate challenge by eliminating sources of energy that countries are committed to using", he said.
Senate Majority leader McConnell said that the Deal would outlaw "the only sources of energy that working-class and middle-class families can actually afford", and "kill off entire domestic industries".
"The way to do this, consistent with American values and American capitalism, is through technology and innovation", McConnell said, according to a Fox News report. "Not to shut down your economy, throw people out of work, make people reconstruct their homes, get out of their cars, you get the whole drift here. This is nonsense, and if you're going to sign on to nonsense, you ought to have to vote for nonsense".