• Frances Hui

School children confront Dianne Feinstein on Green New Deal

Original Publication: http://www.eivnews.com/archives/9394

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is receiving backlash on social media after a tense exchange with a group of schoolchildren urging her “yes” vote on a climate change initiative this past Friday in her San Francisco office.

A group of 20 middle and high school students gathered by the Sunrise Movement, an organization advocates for civic actions on climate change from the United States, confronted Feinstein on her lack of support for the Green New Deal resolution, which attempts to alleviate the problems of climate change through forward planning.

In a video shared by the group on Facebook, the senator indicated her disagreement with the resolution and argued that the plan is unrealistic after a boy explained the purpose of their visit in promoting for the plan to be supported.

“There are reasons why I can’t, ’cause there’s no way to pay for it,” she said. “I don’t agree with what the resolution says. That’s part of it.”

Feinstein then introduced her “own Green New Deal” to the group which she said “would have a much better chance of passing” than the popular resolution, only to realize the children were not satisfied with her less aggressive plan.

“That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them,” the California Democrat said. “I’ve been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century and I know what can pass and I know what can’t pass.”

In a statement posted Friday night on Twitter, Feinstein said she had a “spirited discussion” with the children whom she wants to tell that “were heard loud and clear,” and that she will remain committed to enacting “meaningful climate change legislation.”

“I always welcome the opportunity to hear from Californians who feel passionately about this issue and it remains a top priority of mine,” she wrote in the statement.

The exchange turned even more heated when a young woman accompanying the children said that “if this doesn’t get turned around in 10 years, you’re looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with these consequences.”

The senator replied. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. 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,” she continued. “I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality, and I know what I’m doing. So, you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.”

When one girl refuted that politicians should be responsible to listen to the voters, Feinstein inquired how old the student was. When the girl responded that she is 16, Feinstein followed by saying, “Well, you didn’t vote for me.”

The group left after handing a letter signed by schoolchildren, though the senator insisted to read it on her own instead of having the group to read it out loud to her.

The incident has been noted by Feinstein’s colleagues as well. While making chili during an Instagram live stream on Sunday evening, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who introduced the Green New Deal to the Congress, took aim to Feinstein’s response of her experience.

“The issue has gotten worse. So I don’t think that working on an issue for 30 years alone is what qualifies as––as what makes someone qualified to solve an issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

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