A Green New Deal proposal backed by numerous Democrats failed to advance in the Senate on Tuesday as Democrats protested what they called a political show vote orchestrated by majority Republicans.
The nonbinding resolution, which calls on the United States to make an ambitious effort to slash its use of fossil fuels to fight climate change, fell short in a procedural vote. The Senate did not proceed to debating the measure, as 57 senators voted against it and 43 Democrats and independents who caucus with them — nearly all of the Democratic caucus — voted "present." Four senators who vote with Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Doug Jones of Alabama and independent Angus King of Maine — voted against the resolution.
By voting "present," Democrats hoped not to go on the record on a bill that had no realistic chance of passing, even if they support the concept of a Green New Deal. The six Democratic senators running for president next year — who co-sponsored the original resolution introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. — did not take a position on the measure Tuesday.
Democrats have pushed for drastic action to combat climate change as the planet warms and severe weather events such as recent Midwestern flooding have devastated U.S. communities. They say the U.S. has only a limited window to combat climate change and address an existential threat.