Vote isolates Pingree as only supporter of Green New Deal from Maine

Rep. Chellie Pingree is sword in to the 116th United States Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo courtesy Congresswoman Chellie Pingree Facebook page.

WASHINGTON – When Rep. Chellie Pingree cosponsored the Green New Deal, then proudly stood with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a photo-op at the roll out of the now-banished bill, it was not clear how poorly received the proposal would be.

But there were warning signs for anyone who dared take a peek under the hood.

Documents supporting the proposal showed the aims of the bill involved phasing out air travel, forcing every building in the United States to be gutted and retrofitted to meet new standards, eliminating the use of fossil fuels like gas and heating oil, and even imposing discipline on flatulent cows.

In recent years, even attempts to pass a so-called carbon tax, or during the Obama administration years, a cap-and-trade bill, have failed and then been uses against supporters like a a blunt force weapon.

Along with what is likely to be a long list of dire political consequences, the 2009 cap-and-trade bill and the Green New Deal also share a sponsor, Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

But unlike in 2009, when Pingree had the benefit of voting for cap-and-trade alongside Rep. Mike Michaud, Pingree is now isolated on the Green New Deal.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to bring the issue to a vote in the U.S. Senate, and both Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King voted against the proposal. In fact, the proposal did not get a single vote in favor of passage in the U.S. Senate. Even Presidential candidates who had professed support on the campaign trail voted “present” rather than go on the record in favor of the proposal.

In the House, Pingree’s only other hope for political cover, Rep. Jared Golden, has not taken a solid position. Golden appears to be making an effort to appease the very liberal base that helped fuel his campaign while not upsetting the blue collar workers he needs in the next election, by saying positive things about the goals of the proposal without openly supporting it.

This leaves Pingree alone on a political island in Maine.

Even on controversial partisan issues, Pingree can usually rely on Sen. Angus King to vote with Democrats, thus shielding her from the full force of any criticism.

This time around Rep. Pingree will find herself alone explaining why she cosponsored and stood in support of a bill that experts say would obliterate the American economy and that the co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace said was “completely crazy” and would “bring about mass death.”

It remains to be seen who Pingree will face in the 2020 election, but this is almost certainly not the last you have heard of Rep. Chellie Pingree’s solo act on the Green New Deal of 2019.

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