With a veto of the Senate legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline looming, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting desperate to scoop up any extra Democratic votes he can in hopes of the chance of an override.
Sen. McConnell (R-KY), in a last-ditch effort to gain bipartisan support for the proposed pipeline, is proposing an open amendment process in which all amendments will receive a debate. McConnell stated in a press conference on Tuesday,
We’re wide open. We’re not trying to block anybody’s amendments.
This was just the opening Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was waiting for. Sanders has devised the brilliant plan of forcing Congress to discuss the reality of man-made climate change with his “Sense of Congress” resolution. The resolution would confirm that climate change is a reality, and is caused by human activity such as the combustion of fossil-fuels. Sanders stated that the resolution would affirm that Congress “is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community, and climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world.”
The resolution is largely superfluous in terms of actually combating the results of man-made climate change—yet what it does is just as important. It will force several Senators outside of their comfort zones. This resolution will prohibit Republican Senators from simply dodging the issue like many so “masterfully” did during midterm-elections.
According to a recent study published by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, a majority—68% to be precise— of moderate Republicans believe that man-made climate change is a reality. Contrast this to the fact that 70% of Republican Senators have stated on record that man is not responsible for climate change, and the brilliance of Sanders’ plan comes into full focus.
These revelations could indeed spell trouble for Republican Senators such as Mark Kirk (R-IL), who has recently done a fair amount of backtracking on the climate-change issue. How Sen. Kirk handles this new debate could majorly impact his re-election chances in 2016.
The real genius of Sen. Sanders’ plan is to expose these climate-change deniers by letting them condemn themselves. All he has to do is set the plan in motion, and they will be their own undoing.