Pro-Life Bills in the 87th Texas Legislature

There have been several bills introduced in the 87th Texas legislature that take steps towards protecting unborn children. These bills accomplish a wide rance of things, from holding abortion providers and physicians accountable for taking advantage of women, expanding informed consent, providing personhood rights to unvorn children, and outright banning some or all abortions (these bills are specially marked with a **). Here is a comprehensive list of all the pro-life bills introduced this session.

HB 42 (Swanson) – This bill potects women from losing their health coverage if they refuse to get an abortion, regardless of whether the abortion was recommended by a physician.

** HB 44 (Swanson) – This bill creates criminal and civil penalties (2nd degree felonies for the first offense, 1st degree felony with other related offenses, and a $30,000 fee for each violation) to be brought against a physician who: 

  • aborts third-trimester unborn children,
  • performs abortions without themselves determining the post-fertilization age of the unborn child, or performs an abortion knowing that age is over 20 weeks,
  • performs partial-birth or dismemberment abortions.

Swanson’s HB 92 could create only the $30,000 fine, and her HB 2855 would create only the criminal penalty.

** HB 69 (Toth)- This bill would ban abortion after 12 weeks post-fertilization, lowering it from the 20-week ban that currently exists.

** HB 1165 (Slawson) – Known as “The Heartbeat Bill”, HB 1165 requires that physicians test for a fetal heartbeat, and prohibits the performance of abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

HB 1171 (Sanford) – This bill would require the appointment of a willing attorney to represent an unborn child in a courtproceeding to authorize a minor to obtain an abortion.

HB 1173 (Noble et al.); SB 650 (Campbell et al.)- This bill prohibits a governmental entity from using taxpayer resources to provide logistical support to assist a woman seeking an abortion.

HB 1229 (Leman) – This bill requires that doctors that prescribe abortion-inducing drugs schedule a follow-up appointment not more than two weeks after the drug is administered. The purpose of this bill is to keep abortion doctors accountable, because they are not subject to the same scrutiny as other physicians.

** HB 1280 (Capriglione et al.); SB 9, SB 391 (Paxton et al.) – This bill prohibits the performance of abortion unless a physician, through the exercise of “reasonable medical judgement”, determines that the woman is in a life-threatening condition caused by her pregnancy, and the physician provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive. It is a 2nd degree felony, or a 1st degree felony if the child dies as a result, and a charge of $100,000 per offense.

HB 1291 (Bell, Keith); SB 573 (Springer) – This bill requires that hospitals or healthcare facilities notify each physician, nurse, and staff member that they have the right to object to direct or indirect performance of abortion, and that the hospitall or facility is prohibited from discriminating if they choose to object.

HB 1424 (Oliverson et al.) – This bill expands the rights of any hospital or healthcare facility employees to object to participating in procedures that violate their ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. This right to object would no longer be limited to just abortion.

** HB 1432 (Shaheen) – This bill would prohibit anyone from aborting an unborn child based on the race, ethnicity, or national origin of that child or woman. Physicians who violate this law would have their licenses revoked and would incur an administrative penalty.

** HB 1515 (Slawson et al.); SB 8 (Hughes et al.) – Titled the “Texas Heartbeat Act”, this lengthy bill creates the same ban as does HB 1165, after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, with several additional regulations on the abortions that remain legal. However, it also ensures that anyone aiding or abetting in the abortion faces civil liability, except for the woman on whom the abortion is performed. Notably, 50 Republicans in the House and 17 in the Senate have signed on as additional authors of co-authors of this bill.

** HB 1623 (Toth) – This bill would designate unborn children at all stages as “persons” and recognizes their unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence, including the right to life.

HB 2313 (Leach); SB 802 (Paxton) – This bill requires that physicians who are going to perform an abortion on a woman must ensure that the woman recieved free pre-abortion counseling from someone who does not perform abortions. The counseling must include medically accurate information, an offer of alternative assistance, and screening for trafficking or family violence. This bill also establishes a 24-hour helpline for women seeking abortion to provide them with information about available resources.

HB 2337 (Klick); SB 394 (Lucio et al.) – This bill expands the definition of “abortion-inducing drug”, prevents the provision of those drugs via delivery service, and requres that physicians examine abortion-seeking women in person.

HB 2727 (Hefner) – This bill expands informed consent to abortion by creating a criminal offense to anyone who threatens harm to a woman in order to coerce her into abortion.

HB 2949 (King, Phil); SB 1439 (Campbell et al.) – This bill requires that any hospital employee or intern cannot be scheduled to perform or assist in an abortion unless they opt-in to do so.

HB 2976 (Cason) – This bill requires a physician who performs or induces an abortion at any point in the pregnancy to file a death certificate for the unborn child. This modifies the previous requirement that the unborn child must weigh 350 grams or be 20 weeks post-fertilization for a death certificate.

** HB 3218 (Schaefer et al.); SB 1173 (Hancock) – Known as the “Preborn Nondiscrimination Act”, This bill covers several different issues relating to abortion. It will:

  • Ensure that a pregnant woman who is told that her unborn child has a life-threatening disability is informed of available perinatal palliative care; HB 4304 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement
  • Prohibit all abortion in the third trimester, regardless of the viability of the child,
  • Prohibit the performance of abortion on a woman based on race, ethnicity, sex, or disability of the unborn child, or coersion into abortion based on these standards; HB 4339 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement 

** HB 3326 (Slaton); SB 1671 (Hall) – Known as the “Abolition of Abortion through Equal Protection for All Unborn Children Act”, this bill recognizes that from the moment of conception a child has the same rights, powers, and privileges as any other human child and fully bans abortion.

HB 3641 (Slaton) – Known as the “”Roe v. Wade Is Unconstitutional Act”, this act voids Roe v Wade and any other federal court decisions related to abortion. It finds that the US Constitution does not allow for abortion, and that Texas can make its own decisions related to abortion. 

** HB 3760 (Oliverson); SB 1647 (Perry et al.) – This bill is large in scope and accomplishes several things. First, it requires that physicians provide a greater scope of information to a pregnant woman concerning the availability of palliative care for her unborn child (HB 4304 (Schaefer) satisfies this portion). It also protects disabled children from being discriminated against and cuts off abortion at the point the child’s heartbeat can be detected.

HB 4200 (Hefner) – This bill allows home-rule municipalities to prohibit abortions.

HB 4271 (Schaefer) – This bill would prevent institutions of higher education from providing instruction on performing abortion. Those instutitions are also prohibited from assisting in litigation that would prevent the enforcement of laws relating to abortion, religious freedom, immigration, or capital punishment.

HB 4527 (King, Phil) – This bill would add one hour of instruction on the laws relating to forced abortions to the training required for police officers.

*HJR 15 (Vasut) – This resolution calls upon the US Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion, euthanasia, or any other act that deprives someone of life from conception to natural death.

HJR 80 (Slawson) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution clarifying that the constitution cannot be interpreted to secure or protect the right to obtain an abortion or the expenditure of public money on abortion. 

HJR 113 (Cason); SJR 25 (Hall) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution recognizing that the right to life applies to all unborn children.

** HJR 158 (Bonnen) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution stating that the term “citizen” applies to all unborn children and that they are granted the right to life, prohibiting all abortion.

SB 294 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires the Department of State Health Services to report the number of abortions performed in each county.

SB 1146 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires greater reporting of abortions performed outside an abortion facility

SB 1546 (Hughes) – This bill generally strengthens abortion restrictions and regulations. It also increases the standards required for abortion facilities.

Edited on 3/24/2021. *HJR 15 would call on the US congress under article V of the constitution to overturn Roe v Wade. If this petition is joined by 34 states, the convention would be required.

Cover image taken by Rebekah Wendt at the 2020 March for Life in Austin, TX

Mind Games

SB 11 and HB 18 are symptoms of a larger shift in how our culture views schools. Instead of just viewing school as a place for academic learning, we increasingly view it as a place for young adult daycare and moral growth.

The state should leave mental health to mom and dad.

This session, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 11 and House Bill 18 in response to the recent school shootings, specifically the shooting at Santa Fe High School located outside Houston. SB 11 establishes a number of new requirements to ensure school safety, many of which address the mental health of students. HB 18 is entirely about Texas students’ mental health, adding requirements to curriculum, employee training, and many programs and services designed to improve the mental health conditions of Texas schools.

SB 11 and HB 18 increasingly shift the responsibility of students’ mental health onto school teachers and administrators and away from parents. I believe this is a negative change for a few reasons.

First, I do not expect the Texas public school system to be successful in its efforts to improve the mental health of its students. Literacy is a core responsibility of schools, but as of 2017, less than half of Texas third graders read at or above the grade level standard. If our schools cannot teach most children to read, I see no reason why they will be able to successfully improve their mental health conditions, seeing as mental health is a far newer and far more complex field of study than literacy.

Second, because most students who have mental health issues do not commit school shootings, this indicates that school is not the cause of these shootings. While school safety is a problem schools should fix with measures like increasing security and drills, the mental health of students is not a problem schools should attempt to fix because mental health is an issue that can arise independently of school. Thus, we as a society should work to find the root cause of the shootings and work to improve mental health conditions in that area.

The mental health of students should always be the responsibility of their parents.

Furthermore, whether you believe those who commit school shootings are driven to do so by mental health issues combined with a lack of community, increased societal polarization, a rise in white supremacy, or something entirely different, these societal problems arise outside of school and should be fixed outside of school.

Third and most importantly, the changes made in SB 11 and HB 18 are not positive changes because mental health simply should not be the responsibility of schools, regardless of the issue of school shootings and safety. Instead, the mental health of students should always be the responsibility of their parents.

SB 11 and HB 18 are symptoms of a larger shift in how our culture views schools. Instead of just viewing school as a place for academic learning, we increasingly view it as a place for young adult daycare and moral growth.

In the mid-twentieth century, public schools in America began including sex education in their curriculum. Unlike biology, which teaches facts about the human reproductive system, sex education teaches students certain behaviors they should or should not engage in. Sex education is a form of education that should be included in a child’s moral upbringing; thus, parents should be responsibly to teaching it to their children.

The same goes for the health education taught to students starting in elementary school. It is one thing for a school to teach (likely in a biology class) the reasons why lean proteins are good nourishment for a human. It is another for a school to teach (likely in a health class) that students should eat certain foods and avoid others. While the information may be the same, the framing of the information is different. This difference is what is wrong with health education. It is assuming responsibilities which should belong to parents and which would belong to them otherwise.

One of the most popular critiques of homeschooling is that homeschooled children miss out on important socialization. This criticism is based on the idea that a main component of traditional schooling is socialization. This view of schooling is fundamentally flawed because it takes something that should happen in the home—the moral, social, and emotional development of children—and puts it in the schoolyard. Schools should be responsible for teaching academic subjects, and parents should be responsible for socializing their children.

Sex and health education and socialization are all important parts of developing a child into a rational, mature, and productive adult. However, parents have a personal relationship with their children, know their children best, and are thus best suited to ensure good sex morals and practices, healthy living, and good socialization. For these same reasons, the responsibility of ensuring good mental health conditions should be in the hands of parents, not teachers and administrators.

Before the start of my senior year of high school, my school replaced our college counselor with a therapist. I believe therapy can be beneficial for many high school students. However, I do not support the change my high school made. The college counselor had helped students navigate the tricky and complex college application process, a subject necessary for students’ advancement of academic achievement. While I missed not having a counselor to help advise me with choosing a college, I know for many other students therapy could be more helpful and necessary than college advising. That fact does not take away from the other fact that therapy is not the school’s job. The school’s job is to help students learn and succeed academically. Students who would benefit from therapy should seek therapy through a different avenue.

This is not to discount the school teachers and administrators who serve as wonderful mentors to their students and help them grow into wonderful young adults. We all can name at least one teacher or administrator who had a positive impact on a non-academic area of our lives. But such leaders make these impacts out of the goodness of their hearts, voluntarily reaching outside the bounds of their jobs.

The changes made by SB 11 and HB 18 likely will not stop school shootings. They are symptoms of a larger prevailing view that school teachers and administrators are responsible for making children into mature, socialized, healthy, rational young adults in addition to literate, academically educated young adults. Contrary to this view, we should hold parents, not schools, responsible for raising their children. This means we should encourage parents, not schools, to keep their children in a healthy mental state.

The Darsch Report: April 1 – 7

San Antonio Baby With No Skin

A San Antonio baby that was born without any skin from the neck down will begin to receive treatment sometime next week at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

The child, Ja’bari Gray, was born to 25-year-old Priscilla Maldonado on Jan 1, 2019, after what seemed to be a normal and healthy pregnancy. That was until the baby was born and doctors realized that something was seriously wrong

“It was just completely silent. You know, you expect people to be happy after you have a baby and I had no idea until they put me in a room and explained what was going on,” said Maldonado describing the moments after she gave birth to her son.

While speaking to the doctors she was told that her son has a rare disease known as Aplasia Cutis and that it is the third known case in the US. Because of the rarity of this disease doctors don’t currently know how to properly treat it so the doctors were treating it as burns.

He remains on life support and Maldonado says doctors have told her there is nothing more they can do.

The family is planning funeral arrangements and trying to pay for medical bills. If you would like to donate then please click here.

Wendy Davis and CD-21

Wendy Davis, a former Democratic member of the Texas State Senate for District 10 in the Fort Worth area, says that she is not running for the US Senate in 2020 but instead is looking at a bid at Congressional District 21, which is Trinity University’s district.

Though she has mulled a Senate run in the past, in the podcast, “The Rabble: TX Politics for the Unruly Mob,” Davis made clear she is no longer weighing a Senate campaign and reiterated her call for U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio to enter the race.

“There’s a reason I made a decision not to run for this Senate seat against John Cornyn,” Davis said on the show, which was taped Thursday. “I’ve been very candid about the fact that my dear friend Joaquin Castro is someone that I’d like to see run.”

Congressional District 21 is currently held by Republican Chip Roy who won the district in 2018 against Democrat Joseph Kopser 50.2%-47.6%. Kopser has considered running for the district again but recently announced that he will not be seeking office in 2020.

TX-21 is one of six GOP-held districts in Texas that national Democrats are now targeting for next year. It stretches from Austin to San Antonio and out to the Hill Country.

“Joseph Kopser gave a valiant effort [in 2018] — worked so, so hard and came very, very close,” Davis said on the podcast. “Can we do it for 2020? I want to make sure that we have the ability to win it, and I believe we do. And, I want to believe I’m the right person to help us do that.”

Pro-Life Bill Passed Out of Senate

On Tuesday, April 2, a bill targeting the transfer of taxpayer dollars from state and local governments seeking to help fund the operations of abortion providers passed out of the Texas Senate.

Senate Bill 22 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) passed with 20 ayes and 11 nays. State Sen. Eddie Lucio (Brownville) was the lone Democrat to cross party lines in support of the legislation.

The bill would prevent local governments from contracting with or providing tax dollars to abortion providers.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick included SB 22 among three pro-life bills in his 30 legislative priorities for the chamber early last month. Patrick issued the following statement after the passage of the bill Tuesday:

“There is nothing more important than defending the defenseless. Senate Bill 22, authored by Sen. Campbell, will continue Texas’ commitment to defend the most vulnerable in our society and preserve the sanctity of life. Senate Bill 22 protects Texas taxpayers and affirms Texas’ commitment to protecting life. I strongly support this legislation and congratulate Sen. Campbell for carrying this important bill.”

The bill now heads to the Texas House, where pro-life bills have largely languished so far in the 86th Legislative Session.

US Economy

The stock market this week has done great and is reapproaching record highs. The Dow Jones increased to 26,424.99 on Friday, increasing by +496.31 points, or +1.91 percent over its March 29 close of 25,928.68. The S&P 500 increased by +58.34 points or +2.06 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq increased on Friday by +2.71 percent. The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are each 403.4, 21.3, and 171 points from topping their respective record highs.

A favorable jobs report also came out this week showing that about 196,000 jobs were added to the US, more than the 175,000 jobs estimated by experts. The unemployment rate holds steady at 3.8 percent with wages increasing 3.2 % year over year however this came at the same time that the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2% to its lowest level since November.

The Atlanta FED is also giving some favorable numbers in its GDPNow forecast showing that the US economy in the first quarter of 2019 will increase by 2.1%.

It appears that the US economy isn’t stalling yet, something that worried investors in February, but instead continues to grow strong. With the US and China coming closer to a trade deal within the next month or two, one can expect the US economy to remain strong for the rest of the year.

USDA and Testing on Kittens

On Tuesday, April 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it’s putting an end to a controversial research program that led scientists to kill thousands of cats over decades.

Since 1982 the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services division had been conducting experiments that involved infecting cats with toxoplasmosis — a disease usually caused by eating undercooked contaminated meat — in order to study the foodborne illness. Once the cats were infected and the parasite harvested, the felines were put down.

In a statement announcing the decision, the agency said: “toxoplasmosis research has been redirected and the use of cats as part of any research protocol in any ARS laboratory has been discontinued and will not be reinstated.”

Additionally, the USDA said it is in the process of putting the 14 remaining uninfected cats up for adoption by agency employees.

The USDA has been facing increasing pressure to shut down this practice with bipartisan legislation to end the practice being introduced to Congress last month.

Brexit Update

With just five days until the UK is meant to leave the European Union on Friday, April 12 at 11:00 pm BST, it is uncertain if the Labor Party, Conservative Party, and EU will be able to come to a deal that they can all agree to.

Theresa May is currently undergoing talks with Labor to reach a deal as she has said that only a cross-party pact will get the support of a majority of the members of Parliament as the Democratic Unionist Party and some Tories have rejected her deal with the EU.

However, several Conservatives have strongly criticized the move. Additionally, very few details have come out as to what a Conservative-Labor deal would look like.

The Prime Minister is due at an emergency summit in Brussels on Wednesday when EU leaders will expect to hear fresh plans.

On Sunday, May tweeted a video message, explaining her decision to negotiate with Labour.

“We absolutely must leave the European Union… that means we need to get a deal over the line and that’s why we’ve been looking for new ways – a new approach – to find an agreement in Parliament,” she said.

“People didn’t vote on party lines when it came to the Brexit referendum. And I think members of the public want to see their politicians working together more often.”

Theresa May has already acted in bad faith by not honoring her agreement to leave the EU on March 29 and instead asking for an extension so that she can negotiate a deal. The pressure to negotiate any deal at all over no deal is mounting for May. It will not be surprising if in the next week Theresa May has a deal passed that essentially keeps the UK as part of the EU or she is granted another extension.

Texas Senate Passes Bill Defunding Abortion Providers

On March 20, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 22 seven to zero. Filed on March 7 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), this bill would prohibit transactions between any governmental entity and an abortion provider or an affiliate of the provider. The ban would include state or local tax revenues going to standalone abortion providers and “advocacy or lobbying by or on behalf of a governmental entity on the behalf of the interests of an abortion provide or affiliate.” SB22, co-authored by one Democrat senator and 18 Republican senators, now only has to pass through the two chambers of the legislature to become state law. SB 22 passed the full Senate on April 2.

The bill would not apply to hospitals, universities and clinics that perform 50 or fewer abortions in any 12-month period.

Opponents said the bill would cut off funding to providers like Planned Parenthood that provide affordable health care services for many women.

Mireya Trevino, a public health student at UT-Austin, said that many students go to Planned Parenthood for basic health services such as STD tests, birth control and cancer screenings. “When you’re uninsured, your budget tends to be low or no cost and that’s exactly what Planned Parenthood has,” Trevino said.

Though many support organizations like Planned Parenthood, many taxpayers do not.

“Taxpayers who oppose abortion shouldn’t have to see their tax dollars subsidizing the industry,” Campbell told the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Planned Parenthood performed 332,757 abortions in the last fiscal year, more than one third of the number of annual abortions performed in the US. That is over 900 abortions a day.

Nicole Hudgens with Texas Values, who testified on March 18 in support of the bill, said that SB22 “prevents local abortion groups, like Planned Parenthood in Austin, from receiving ‘sweetheart’ rent deals [for one dollar a year] while families and low-income individuals in the surrounding area struggle to maintain housing, schools and livelihood” and see “their taxes increase by hundreds of dollars.

States such as Nebraska and Ohio have already passed similar bills into state law.

The Darsch Report: Feb. 11-17

SA Climate Action

Over the next week the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, also known as SA Climate Action, is set to go to the public sphere of San Antonio as a means for the city to combat and address climate change.

The plan is already under scrutiny by environmental activists who say that the plan does not go far enough and by business leaders who say that it goes too far.

SA Climate Ready lays out a road map for the city to prepare for climate change and reach an overall objective of carbon neutrality — meaning the city, its residents and businesses would stop adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere — by 2050.

The 84-page plan recommends that the city switch to more renewable energy, reduce energy use in buildings and increasing the use of electric vehicles in order to address the climate of San Antonio becoming hotter and drier.

Many businesses, especially those tied to the fossil fuel industry, believe that the bill is specifically signaling them out and that they are no longer welcome in the city.

Councilman Greg Brockhouse criticized the plan stating, “I’ve heard from multiple business sources that this is a job-killing venture. We can’t be selling short the economic impacts of this plan.”

Angela Paxton

On Friday, Feb. 15, Sen. Angela Paxton filed Senate Bill 860 in the Texas State Legislature with the purpose of creating within the attorney general’s office an entirely new program — what the bill calls a “regulatory sandbox” — that would allow approved individuals “limited access to the market … without obtaining a license, registration, or other regulatory authorization.” The bill aims to cut red tape for the growing financial tech sector, allowing businesses to market new products for up to two years and to as many as 10,000 customers with scant regulation.

Angela Paxton said the bill is geared toward strengthening consumer protections in the underregulated, ever-changing financial tech industry — a sector that in Texas is largely centered in Richardson, part of her North Texas district.

But skeptics pointed to the bill’s optics problem: Ken Paxton, a statewide official accused of violating state securities law, would be empowered to decide who can skirt state securities law. And he’d get that power from a bill authored by his wife. Currently, Texas law requires investment advisers to register with the state — failing to do so is a third-degree felony punishable by a sentence of two to 10 years.

Regardless of the actions that Attorney General Paxton took, the bill should come under the same scrutiny, skepticism, review and amendment that goes into any other bill that enters the Texas State Legislature.

National Emergency

On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency regarding the US southern border and will be using funds not given to him by Congress for a border wall or barrier.

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” Trump said in a televised statement in the Rose Garden. “It’s an invasion,” he added. “We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”

The emergency declaration, according to White House officials, enables the president to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to the wall. Trump will also use more traditional presidential discretion to tap $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund.

Combined with $1.375 billion authorized for fencing in the spending package passed on Thursday night, Trump would have about $8 billion in all for barriers, more than the $5.7 billion he unsuccessfully demanded from Congress.

Although construction for the barriers hasn’t entered the planning phase yet for this declaration, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California stated that the state is planning on suing the president “to reject this foolish proposal in court the moment it touches the ground.”

The national emergency is a way for President Trump to move around Congress to receive the funding he wants for a border wall but as it currently stands, not much may come out of the lawsuits. Trump isn’t the first President to use executive action/national emergencies to move around Congress, but also much of the funding for it won’t come at the taxpayers’ expense as it is a reallocation of funds rather than an increase in spending.

US Economy

It was a good week for US stocks, with a few gains in the stock market. The Dow Jones increased to 25,883.25 on Friday, increasing by +339.06 points, or +1.33 percent over its Feb.  8 close of 25,106.33. The S&P 500 increased by +67.72 points or +2.50 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq decreased on Friday by +2.39 percent.

Trade talks between the US and China are still going well according to US and Chinese sources. This has been much of the cause of optimism in investors and the rally seen over the past week as many are hoping to see an end to the trade war.

Green New Deal Vote

Eyeing an opportunity to put Democrats on the spot, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, announced on Tuesday, Feb12, that he plans on holding a vote on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-NY, and Sen. Ed Markey’s, D-Mass, Green New Deal.

“I’ve noted with great interest, the Green New Deal,” McConnell told reporters. “And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate, going to give everyone an opportunity to go on record, and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.”

The 14-page document released Thursday sets a goal of moving to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and outlines a series of broad methods to achieve it, like upgrading or replacing existing buildings to be more energy efficient, upgrading electric grids to make better use of renewable energy, and investing in electric vehicles and mass transportation. It also includes a call to guarantee a well-paying job for every American and provide universal health care and housing.

The measure is backed by many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The move of Sen. McConnell is a smart one as every Republican Senator can unite in opposition to the bill but it may divide Democrats, many of whom are running for reelection or for President in 2020. It is a way to force senators to put their money where their mouth is and not just talk about support or opposition.