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House introduces climate bill the day after Senate rejects Green New Deal

Senate votes against Green New Deal

A day after the Senate rejected the Green New Deal, a broad proposal to reduce greenhouse gases and move the nation to 100 percent renewable energy, House Democrats introduced a new bill to address global warming. 

The new bill, the Climate Action Now Act, focuses more narrowly on reducing carbon emissions and ensuring that the U.S. honors the Paris climate agreement, from which President Trump withdrew shortly after taking office. 

"The climate crisis is an existential threat of our generation, of our time," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said while introducing the bill alongside members of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis.

"Despite what the president has said, America will not retreat, America will not cut and run, America will keep its commitments," Subcommittee Chair Rep. Kathy Castor said. Mr. Trump has referred to climate change as a "hoax" and proposed cuts for renewable energy funding.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who introduced the Green New Deal in the House, was not in attendance. Ocasio-Cortez responded to Republican criticism of the resolution in a speech that went viral on Tuesday.

"This is about our lives. This is about American lives. And it should not be partisan," Ocasio-Cortez.

Republicans have derided the Green New Deal, a non-binding resolution which proposed phasing out use of fossil fuels by 2030, as anti-business and socialist. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has referred to the Green New Deal as a "huge, self-inflicted, national wound the Democrats are agitating for."

Nonetheless, McConnell brought the Green New Deal to the Senate floor in an attempt to use the vote against Democrats in the upcoming 2020 elections. Most Democrats countered by voting "present" on the bill instead of voting for or against it.

Ocasio-Cortez is not on the House committee directly focused on combating climate change. She said on MSNBC earlier this year that Pelosi invited her to join the committee, but she was already on the Financial Services Committee as well as the Oversight subcommittee that deals with the environment, and she "would have to give up doing my job well" if she were to serve on all of them.