On February 7, 2019 on the same day it was introduced in the House by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), Senator Ed Markey (D MA) introduced Senate Resolution 59, “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.” Referred to as the Green New Deal, it is a nonbinding resolution that calls on the federal government to combat climate change by cutting carbon emissions in all sectors of the economy while simultaneously creating new jobs and strengthening the US economy. (Read the full SciPol Summary here). Six of the current Democratic presidential candidates have co-sponsored the Resolution, including Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The Resolution has become something of a political football in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced his intention to force a vote in the full Senate so that Senate Democrats would have to go on the record as being either in favor or against the Resolution. On February 26th, Senators Brian Schatz, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Martin Heinrich drafted a letter calling on Senator McCaonnell to alllow for a full day of floor debate on what they call the "climate crisis" before any vote on the Green New Deal. Senate Democrats introduced their own climate resolution on February 28th, which simply affirms that climate change is real and that Congress should take immediate action to address it. If the Democratic resolution were to come up for a vote in the Senate, any Republican colleague that votes against it would in effect be stating that they do not believe climate change is real.
Senator McConnell has only indicated that any such vote would take place only before the August recess, though as of mid-March, reports were emerging that the Senate GOP would try to force a vote much earlier.