A group of liberal Senate Democrats turned the tables on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today by introducing a resolution supporting Pope Francis’ views on climate change and calling on the Senate to immediately act.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the resolution along with Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI.).
The Senators wrote, “The Senate stands with Pope Francis and the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change; present climate trends are unsustainable; and immediate action must be taken to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the deleterious effects of human-induced climate change.”
The resolution was a very clever move by Senate Democrats to highlight the climate change denial of Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans. Because of the Pope’s liberal positions on a number of economic and environmental issues, his upcoming address before a joint session of Congress could be very uncomfortable for Republicans.
Democrats have painted McConnell and the Republicans into a corner. If their resolution comes up for a vote, Republicans will have to choose between the Koch brothers and the Pope. Republicans could be put in a position where they would have to take a vote that would highlight their extremism by humiliating the Pope in front of the entire world.
It is always easier to be in the congressional minority than in the majority, but Senate Democrats have taken using their power to the level of an artform. Democrats are doing the opposite of Mitch McConnell’s minority say no to everything strategy of gridlock leadership. Democrats are maximizing their power and using their unity and collective strength to hit Republicans hardest when it matters the most.
Who is it going to be Republicans? Will it be the Kochs or the Pope?