Durbin Laughs About Green New Deal: 'What in the Heck Is This?'

February 20, 2019

Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said Wednesday he told one of the architects of the Green New Deal "what in the heck is this" after reading through the resolution twice.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he wanted the Senate to vote on the ultra-progressive resolution to put Democrats on the record, and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked Durbin during an interview on "Morning Joe" how he would vote.

"I can't tell you, to be honest with you," Durbin said. "I've read it, and I've reread it, and I asked [Senator] Ed Markey, 'What in the heck is this?'"

Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski laughed in response.

"You sound like Nancy [Pelosi]!" Scarborough said in reference to the House speaker's comments on the proposal.

"He says, 'It is an aspiration,'" Durbin said of Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.), laughing.

"OK, well that's nice," Brzezinski said.

"You don't vote for aspirations though, do you?" Scarborough asked.

Durbin said Democrats would ask McConnell what his position was on global warming in the meantime.

Co-host Willie Geist asked Durbin if that meant he wouldn't vote for the resolution in its current form. When Durbin dodged and said he'd have to take a look—after already saying he'd read it twice—Geist pressed him again. Durbin said it was "long."

"I certainly agree with the premise," Durbin said. "Global warming is a threat to the planet we live on, and we're not doing enough. We should do more."

Democratic lawmakers Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Markey rolled out the Green New Deal, a radical energy and economic overhaul, on Feb. 7. It called for a massive government intervention to bring about total reliance on zero-emission energy sources within 10 years, at the cost of trillions of dollars.

However, all 2020 Senate Democrats running for president backed the resolution. The rollout was marred by the release of a typo-ridden "FAQ" that included promises like guaranteeing economic security for people "unwilling to work" and eliminating farting cows.