Forty-three Democrats voted “present” and three Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Doug Jones (D-AL) — voted against the resolution. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) also voted with Republicans against the measure.
Many Democrats — including Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who sponsored the resolution in the Senate — called the vote a “sham” because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called for it without scheduling any hearings.
“[Climate change] is the national security, economic, health care and moral issue of our time,” Markey said at a press conference at the Capitol ahead of the vote. “We must act now.”
“Republicans and President Trump may choose to be in denial about the consequences of climate change,” Markey said. “But to ordinary people, climate change is not politics. It is life and death.”
“It is not a resolution,” Markey said. “It is a revolution.”
But even if Democrats voted “present,” McConnell said Tuesday’s vote put them on the record in favor of the radical resolution, which calls for the transformation of the American economy and infrastructure, including ending air travel and retrofitting every building in America.
“I ask again if you believe the Green New Deal is the prescription for America, why would you not want to have a vote?” McConnell told reporters ahead of the vote.
Presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was also at the press conference with Markey and climate change activists.
“We don’t know if we can get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years, but why not try?” Gillibrand said.