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Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in South Carolina on Jan. 21. Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday that he will run for president in 2020, becoming the latest candidate in a crowded Democratic primary field to promise a Green New Deal if elected, The Washington Post reported.

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Sunrise Movement

By Jake Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to believe that he can divide and embarrass the Democratic Party by rushing ahead with a vote on the newly introduced Green New Deal resolution.

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uschools / E+ / Getty Images

Climate change is back in the House. Emboldened under a new Democratic majority, two main energy and environment committees are holding simultaneous hearings Wednesday to discuss rising global temperatures and averting climate catastrophe, Roll Call reported.

This will be the House Energy and Commerce Committee's first hearing on climate change in six years, according to hearing host Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), who leads the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. For the Natural Resources Committee, it will be their first hearing on climate change in more than eight years.

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Tidal flooding in Florida; despite voting for Trump in 2016, the state leads the nation in likely economic losses from climate change. B137 / CC BY-SA 4.0

U.S. opinion on climate change is still highly polarized, with 82 percent of Democrats and only around 25 percent of Republicans ranking it a "very serious" problem, according to a November poll from Monmouth University. However, that divide is weakening. The same poll found that 64 percent of Republicans now acknowledge that it is happening, compared to 49 percent three years ago.

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"The torture of animals should be a federal crime with stiff penalties," said Rep. Buchanan. Pixabay

In Dec. 2010, President Obama signed a law that made it a federal crime to create and distribute animal torture videos. That law, however, did not ban the underlying act of animal torture itself.

That's why Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) re-introduced the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or (PACT) Act that prohibits "intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise subjecting animals to serious bodily harm," according to a press release, and makes it easier to prosecute those involved in the horrific acts.

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Sen. Kamala Harris held a news conference after announcing her bid for president on Jan. 21. PBS NewsHour / YouTube screenshot

Kamala Harris on Monday became the latest Democratic presidential contender to back a Green New Deal, in what has become a "litmus test" for 2020 hopefuls, according to the youth-led Sunrise Movement that helped launch the ambitious economic and climate proposal.

"I support a Green New Deal and I will tell you why," the California Senator said during a CNN town hall in Iowa. "Climate change is an existential threat and we have got to deal with the reality of it."

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