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Ocasio-Cortez defends Green New Deal after Senate defeat

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her sweeping environmental Green New Deal on Wednesday, a day after it overwhelmingly lost a procedural vote in the Senate that Democrats called a stunt meant to divide their party.

“3,000 Americans died in Hurricane María. The Midwest is drowning as we speak. 100s of Flint families were pumped w/ poisoned water & our water infrastructure is imperiled across the country,” the New York Democrat wrote on Twitter. “GOP thinks this is a joke. They choose to laugh+delay. We choose to lead.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the measure up for a vote on Tuesday to force Democrats to make a public stand on the measure that he and other Republicans have ripped as a “socialist makeover of the entire US economy.”

The final vote was 57-0 – with 43 Democrats voting present.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez said she encouraged her Democratic colleagues in the Senate to vote present and questioned why McConnell didn’t hold hearings on the plan that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by switching from fossil fuels to clean energy.

“Because I encouraged them to vote present, along w/ others,” she responded to a tweet by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who accused Democrats of ducking the vote. “McConnell tried to rush the #GreenNewDeal straight to the floor without a hearing. The real question we should be asking: Why does the Senate GOP refuse to hold any major hearings on climate change?”

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