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Sun Mar 24, 2019, 02:40 PM

McConnell aims to use Green New Deal to divide Dems. But the party is unifying against his show vote

Senate Republicans are trying to elevate the ideas and personalities of House Democrats in a bid to divide the opposition into the rising liberal stars, the party's presidential contenders and its more mainstream lawmakers.

The effort begins with a midweek vote on the Green New Deal, a loosely defined effort to combat climate change by dramatically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions coupled with job creation. Democrats have spent years proposing different versions of legislation to rein in the effects of climate change, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has taken the Green New Deal and raised it to a new level with her political star power.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., believes the proposal, written by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., embraced by several top Democratic presidential contenders but criticized by the AFL-CIO as unrealistic, would be politically divisive for a party that has made winning back Midwest battleground states a top priority for 2020.

"The prevailing fashions in New York and San Francisco, that's what is defining today's Democrats," McConnell said during a floor speech two weeks ago.


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