Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) snapped at a group of kids lobbying her to support the progressive Green New Deal, telling them that she doesn’t respond to “my way or the highway” tactics.
The House version of the climate-change plan was introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Feb. 7; a companion bill was introduced in the upper chamber by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 11 co-sponsors.
The Senate resolution says that the federal government should create a Green New Deal “to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers” and calls in part for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”
The Sunrise Movement, an environmental activism group focused on young people, spent this week lobbying Senate and House offices to support the Green New Deal, leading up to a coordinated “day of action” Tuesday in congressional districts nationwide.
The group brought a bunch of kids, ages 7 to 16, to Feinstein’s office today to lobby the fifth-term senator — and said they got “smugness” in return.
In the video posted by the Sunrise Movement, the kids hold up a poster-sized letter to present to Feinstein, asking her to support the Green New Deal.
This is a fight for our generation’s survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. pic.twitter.com/0zAkaxruMI
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) February 22, 2019
“OK, I’ll tell you what,” Feinstein replied. “We have our own Green New Deal.”
“Some scientists have said we have 12 years to turn this around,” a girl told the senator.
“Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years,” Feinstein replied. An adult accompanying the children interjected to the senator that the kids will be living with the consequences if it’s not turned around in 10 years.
“You know what’s interesting about this group is I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” Feinstein said. “I know what I’m doing. You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that.”
“I’ve gotten elected, I just ran, I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality, and I know what I’m doing,” the senator continued. “So, you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.”
When a teen stated that “we’re the people who voted you,” Feinstein asked her age. The girl responded that she’s 16 years old. “Well, you didn’t vote for me,” Feinstein fired back.
A younger girl retorted that it doesn’t matter because “we’re gonna be the ones who are impacted,” and Feinstein said she understood as she has seven grandchildren.
When one of the adults argued that a bill not taking “bold, transformative action” is inadequate, Feinstein replied, “Well, you know better than I do. So, I think one day you should run for the Senate. And then you do it your way. In the meantime, I just won a big election.”