In the nearly two months since the Green New Deal resolution was formally rolled out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) at a high-profile Capitol Hill press conference, the New Hampshire congressional delegation has assiduously avoided answering questions about it.
Both U.S. Senators –Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan — and both House members — Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas — have declined dozens of requests for comment on the simple question: Do you support the Green New Deal? The only on-the-record information available is their refusal to join the more than 100 of their fellow House and Senate Democrats who have co-sponsored the resolution. Do they support this “national mobilization,” as Ocasio-Cortez calls it? Do they agree with her that the future of the planet hangs in the balance “since we only have 10 to 12 years before we reach a tipping point?”
As recently as last Friday during the Climate Impacts Maple Breakfast in Durham, NH, Sen. Shaheen still declined to reveal her position on the Green New Deal proposal.
New Hampshire voters could have found out on Tuesday at 4pm when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a vote on the Green New Deal resolution (S.Res.59) as written. With a roll call vote on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Hassan were forced to make a stand, one way or another….right?
Reports from Capitol Hill are that Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked his caucus to vote “present,” and avoid taking a position on their own bill either way. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims she helped promote the plan, too:
When asked why so many Democrats in the upper chamber voted “present,” Ocasio-Cortez responded that she advised them to do so and slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for pushing a vote on the floor without a hearing in an attempt to put Democrats on the record about the proposal ahead of the 2020 elections.
Whoever it was who issued the orders, Sens. Hassan and Shaheen complied.
Under the Democrats’ plan, the U.S. Senators running for president who’ve actually co-sponsored the resolution voted against it (Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren), and so did the resolution’s own author, Sen. Markey. The Massachusetts senator went so far as to declare a vote on his own resolution, as written, a “sham.”
Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 53 Republicans in voting “no.” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted “no.”
According to The Hill, Manchin planned all along to break ranks with his fellow Democrats and take a position on the Green New Deal proposal.
“They can do what they want to do. I’m not a ‘vote-present-type’ guy,” Manchin said.
What about Sens. Hassan and Shaheen? They apparently are “vote present-type” political leaders.