The Republican-led Senate Tuesday night voted against consideration of the Democratically-supported New Green Deal -- the outline of an ambitious plan to get the U.S. off climate-changing fossil fuels.
The vote was 57 to zero against the green proposal. Forty-three Democrats only said "present" when their names were called, refusing to participate in what they say was a Republican sham vote and stunt.
The Green New Deal is a non-binding proposal to shift the United States away from oil, natural gas, and coal to renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a "radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy," noting it would cost millions of jobs and sharply drive up energy prices.
Other Republicans called it "ridiculous." Senator Mike Lee used drawings of dinosaurs and the cartoon character Aquaman riding a seahorse to treat the Green New Deal with what he mockingly called "the seriousness it deserves."
Fuming Democrats accused the Republicans of turning the issue of the very survival of the planet into a joke. They say Republicans who turn debate over global warming into a game will pay a political price.
New York Senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand compared ridding the United States of its dependence on fossil fuels in the 21st century to America's ambitious plan nearly 60 years ago to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s – a goal that was reached.
Scientists overwhelmingly agree that burning fossil fuels is causing the globe to get unnaturally warmer and polls indicate many American voters are also worried about the consequences of climate change.