03.26.19

Green New Deal: Pain for American Families, No Meaningful Change in Carbon Emissions

‘Well, later today, we will see. The American people will see. They will see which of their senators can do the common-sense thing and vote ‘no’ on this destructive socialist daydream. And they’ll see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote ‘no’ on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America’s middle class.’

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

“Yesterday, the Senate voted to advance the nomination of Bridget Bade of Arizona, the latest of President Trump’s qualified judicial nominees. Today we’ll vote on her confirmation as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Ms. Bade’s nomination comes with the bipartisan support of our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and a ‘well-qualified’ rating from the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. Given that 77 Senators voted yesterday to advance this nomination, it is obviously clear to the vast majority of us that the President has made yet another excellent choice for the federal bench. I hope each of my colleagues will join me in voting to confirm Ms. Bade later today.

“Now, on another matter, this afternoon, the Senate is going to vote on the far-left wish list that many of our Democratic colleagues have rushed to embrace – the so-called ‘Green New Deal.’ For a relatively sparse resolution, this proposal has already traveled quite a fascinating path here in Congress. It originated with the most radical, farthest-left members of the new House Democrat majority. The Speaker of the House quickly praised its ‘enthusiasm.’

“Its principal sponsor rolled out the first version of the plan alongside an extensive background document that laid out the policy’s true goals in candid detail – but which Democrats then rushed to hastily scrub off the Internet. Not exactly an auspicious start. But nevertheless, a number of our Democratic colleagues here in the Senate rushed to embrace it as well. That includes every Democratic Senator who is currently running for president.

“The energy, the momentum, the defining new voices in today’s Democratic Party – they seem to be all in for this ‘Green New Deal.’ ‘It’s ambitious. It captures your imagination,’ said one current presidential candidate. ‘I’m in all the way,’ said one of our Senate colleagues, who’s also running. When asked if the proposal might go too far, another of our Senate colleagues running for president replied that, on this issue, ‘You cannot go too far.’ So, just how far does this proposal go? What exactly is in this thing?

“Well, for starters, the proposal addresses the small matter of eliminating the use of all fossil fuels nationwide in a 10-year time frame. This might sound like a neat idea in places like San Francisco or New York, the places that the Democratic Party seems totally focused on these days. But communities practically everywhere else would be absolutely crushed.

“Killing off entire domestic industries. Winding down millions of jobs. Basically outlawing the only sources of energy that working-class and middle-class families can actually afford. By one rough estimate, these steps could lead to a spike in household electric bills of over $300 a month. And keep in mind, this is just the warm-up act. While they’re at it, our friends on the far left also propose a federally-mandated overhaul of every building in America. No family home or small business would be safe until it meets Washington bureaucrats’ standards of greenness.

“But, if you can believe it, other aspects of this proposal make these things sound downright practical by comparison. The resolution also includes a far broader socialist wish list that gestures towards a new government-run health insurance system, a new system for government-guaranteed housing, and a new government system to guarantee everyone -- quote -- ’economic security.’ That last point is a little vague. But helpfully, before it was frantically scrubbed off the Internet, the original sponsor’s background document made the long-term goal perfectly clear. Quote: ‘Economic security to all those who are unable or unwilling to work.’

“That’s the background document they rushed to delete. The Democrats’ long-term vision: taking hard-working people’s taxpayer dollars to pay those who choose not to get off their couch day after day simply because they are unwilling to work. So my Democratic colleagues’ brilliant new idea -- their rallying cry -- is snatching away the energy sources that middle-class families use; shuttering the industries that provide many of those families with their livelihoods; changing the homes they live in, the cars they drive, and the health care plans they rely on. Remember what our colleague said: ‘You cannot go too far.’ Our colleagues are certainly putting that to the test.

“I haven’t even gotten to what American families would have to pay for the privilege of being lab rats for all this far-left social engineering. My Democratic colleagues have been fairly quiet on that subject. I guess it’s a lot more fun ordering off the menu than taking a look at the check. Families would almost certainly be faced with much higher utility bills. Then the cost to replace appliances. Presumably electric cars would have to be purchased. And then there’s the federal tax burden. Just how much of other people’s money are Democrats proposing to burn in this effort to turn the country into a far-left science fiction novel?

“Well, one rough initial estimate found that all the pieces of the Green New Deal might add up to as much as $93 trillion. That’s over the first decade alone. That’s quite a tab. It exceeds the annual GDP of the entire world, as of 2017. It would mean historic tax increases, historic new debt -- and even that would only scratch the surface. And bear in mind, the sticker price doesn’t even begin to capture the full national cost of the economic wound this plan would inflict on our country while all our competitors would go roaring on by.

“My colleagues want to pull the emergency brake on the U.S. economy because it isn’t ‘green’ enough. But global carbon emissions are a global problem. We only produce about 15 percent of the global total. China’s already soared past us. They’re the world’s largest emitter, and in recent years, while U.S. emissions have been declining, China’s share has been growing fast. We’ll certainly get to test out their new economic security payments for those unable and unwilling to work, after the Green New Deal drives all our domestic manufacturing jobs to China, India and our other competitors who will gladly gobble up our jobs and continue to emit with reckless abandon.

“So my Democratic colleagues have settled on quite an interesting strategy: Maximum pain for American families with no meaningful change in global carbon emissions. Now, since I announced last month that senators would actually have the opportunity to go on the record and vote on this socialist wish list, a funny thing has happened. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the self-professed supporters of a piece of legislation more angry or irritated that they would actually have to vote on it. Merely bringing their own plan up for a vote -- a plan they’d characterized as ‘an amazing step forward’ -- was now declared to be ‘a diversion’ and ‘a sham.

“By one colleague’s assessment, by getting their proposal a floor vote, I was creating, quote, ‘a ploy to try and undermine the Green New Deal by calling a vote.’ I have to say, it’s remarkable enough to see a major political party coalesce around a proposal to forcibly remake the entire country according to what’s fashionable in Brooklyn and San Francisco. But it is even more stunning to see my colleagues so angry and upset at the opportunity to back up their new philosophy with their votes.

“Well, later today, we will see. The American people will see. They will see which of their senators can do the common-sense thing and vote ‘no’ on this destructive socialist daydream. And they’ll see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can’t even vote ‘no’ on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America’s middle class.”

Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Senate Democrats, Energy, Nominations