The Senate will vote as soon as Tuesday on a motion to proceed on the Green New Deal, a broad climate change bill that has divided Democrats, and which Republicans hope to use as a wedge issue in 2020.
Democrats are broadly expected to vote present on the legislation as a way of deflecting a political attack from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who scheduled the vote to put the minority in a difficult position.
They have sought to cast the scheduling of the vote as a political trick.
“This vote is a sham and little more than a political ploy to protect vulnerable Republicans from having to defend their climate science denial,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Even though he is the Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal legislation, he will vote present on the legislation.
Groups supporting the Green New Deal are essentially giving members a free pass to not vote in favor of the measure.
A representative of the Sunrise Movement, the youth climate action group that went viral earlier this year through a confrontation in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) office over the Green New Deal, said they aren’t pushing for a vote in the House — where Democrats have the majority.