02.27.19

Democrats’ Green New Deal: Foolish and Dangerous

‘So before much longer, every member of this body will have a chance to go on the record, loud and clear. Do our Democratic colleagues really support this fantasy novel masquerading as public policy? Do they really want to completely upend Americans’ lives to enact some grand socialist vision? Do they really want this to be their Democratic Party? Well, before too long, the Senate will vote, and these questions will be answered.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Green New Deal: 

“Today, the Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Chairman Barrasso, is meeting to consider legislation that would help reduce, capture, and find productive uses for carbon dioxide emissions. It’s an important subject. It deserves a serious approach. But as we all know, some on the far left have recently offered other ideas on this subject. That’s right, the much-heralded ‘Green New Deal.’ Nothing says forward-thinking and fresh ideas quite like borrowing the name of an 80-plus year-old policy program and just adding the color ‘green.’

“So what is this thing all about? This turns out to be an interesting question. It depends on who you ask. The Democrats who authored it say it’s a massive re-organization and government takeover of our nation’s economy and culture. Some have argued it’s the only way to stop the world from ending in about a decade. This was interesting news, even to many of their fellow Democrats. Our colleague Senator Durbin reacted this way -- quote -- ‘I have read it and I have reread it and I asked [Senator] Ed Markey, what in the heck is this?!’ But it looks like, one way or another, the Democratic Party as a whole is eager to get behind this thing.

“So what’s in it? Here are just a few of the hits in the 16-page resolution that the Senate will soon be voting on. Quote: ‘Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings.’ Don’t want a federal bureaucrat to decide how your house should look, or what size it should be? Don’t want to pay to rebuild the entire downtown? Don’t want to tear down your small business so it can be replaced by the government? Too bad -- these new social planners know best.

“Quote: ‘Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States’ -- end quote -- without using any American fossil fuels or nuclear power whatsoever. That’s right. It’s the War on Coal on steroids. Say goodbye to all those jobs, and say hello to a new wave of cronyism that would make the half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer losses from Solyndra look like pocket change. Everything in your garage will have to go, too. A lengthy background document that this plan’s authors have since tried to scrub from the Internet helpfully explained that a Green New Deal would mean ‘replac[ing] every combustion engine vehicle.

“How about this one? Quote: ‘Guaranteeing a job...to all people of the United States.’  That one’s buried on page 14. A government-guaranteed job for everyone. That may sound like a good utopian goal, but their handy background document makes their real intention known -- promising ‘economic security for all’ even for those who are ‘unwilling to work.’ That’s a lot of magic-wand-waving. But I’ve only scratched the surface.

“That background document also called for a plan to ‘build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.’ As our colleague Senator Hirono pointed out, this might be a tough sell in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and other places. And the governor of California just scaled back a high-speed rail project in California because as he put it, it ‘would cost too much and, respectfully, take too long.’ Even with heavy federal subsidies it is billions over budget and behind schedule. That document also proposed to magically ‘remove pollution and… emissions from manufacturing.’ Just like that. I wonder why nobody has thought of that before?

“So it’s clear what we have here. It’s the far left’s Santa Claus wish list dressed up to look like serious policy. Now, bad ideas are nothing new. Silly proposals come and go. But the philosophies and ideas behind this textbook socialism are not just foolish. They’re dangerous. Their ascent in the Democratic Party is a real threat to American prosperity and to working families. Chairman Barrasso reported that one analysis found this proposal could increase the average household’s power bills by as much as $3800 a year. Another estimate predicted that families would have to spend of hundreds of billions of dollars just to replace common household appliances with Washington-approved models.

“Remember, China has already sailed past the U.S. in terms of carbon emissions. The far left still wants us to unilaterally disarm our whole economy.  Lots of pain for us; no meaningful gain in containing global emissions. We’ll go bankrupt, but at least it’ll be great for China. I bet they’re cheering in the streets. So, the way I see it -- the way most Republicans see it -- this proposal is either a brilliant piece of comedy or a disastrous socialist vision that is totally alien to the United States of America.

“But what about our Democratic colleagues? Where do they stand? Recently, I announced that Senators will get to go on the record and vote for or against all of this. But curiously enough, this planned vote was met with outrage from the very people claiming to champion the proposal. Last night our colleague from Rhode Island said it was ‘truly preposterous’ for me to schedule a vote on the Green New Deal. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of a plan Democrats claim to support.

“And he doesn’t seem to be alone in that uneasiness. At one point, the Speaker of the House dismissed her party’s own plan as -- quote -- ‘the green dream.’ The senior Senator from California worried publicly the other day that, quote, ‘there’s no way to pay for it.’ And, as I noted, the Assistant Democratic Leader summed up a lot of people’s thinking when he asked ‘what in the heck is this?’ I think a great many Americans all across the country are asking themselves the same thing.

“So before much longer, every member of this body will have a chance to go on the record, loud and clear. Do our Democratic colleagues really support this fantasy novel masquerading as public policy? Do they really want to completely upend Americans’ lives to enact some grand socialist vision? Do they really want this to be their Democratic Party? Well, before too long, the Senate will vote, and these questions will be answered.”

Related Issues: China, Energy, Coal, Senate Democrats