Dianne Feinstein had a heated exchange with a group of middle and high school students who asked her to sign the Green New Deal in a clip that went viral Friday. Her comments on Friday line up with some of the more disdainful observations on the Green New Deal from the Democratic old guard.
During a meeting with youth activists from the progressive Sunrise Movement, some of whom the group said were as young as age 7, the California Democrat suggested the ambitious climate plan was not achievable.
One teen girl told the senator that "we're the people who voted you" and pleaded for Feinstein to change her mind on supporting the Green New Deal. Feinstein repeatedly tells the children that there is "no way to pay" for the plan, and tells the children that she is supporting her own resolution.
'You know what's interesting about this group?
"I've gotten elected, I just ran, I was elected by nearly a million-vote plurality, and I know what I'm doing", the senator continued. "I've been doing this for 30 years". "So people are like 'Oh it's unrealistic, oh it's vague, oh it doesn't address this little, minute thing.' And I'm like, you try, you do it! I don't respond to that", she continued.
"I've gotten elected. I just ran".
"Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear", she 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".
"Well, it's not going to get turned around in 10 years", Feinstein responded. "In the meantime I just won a big election". "So the power is in the person who's trying, regardless of the success".
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Others praised Feinstein for taking the time to listen and were not happy about children being used as "pawns".
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Feinstein's behavior was met with a swell of condemnation online.
"So I think though the conversation wasn't fully what I expected it to be", said Nadja, 15.
The children wrote a letter to Feinstein on a poster board decorated with hard-drawn animals and flowers, asking that she support the Green New Deal. "I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation".
She explained that the Green New Deal legislation that was rolled out in the House didn't have a chance of passing in the Republican-controlled Senate and told the group her bill was more moderate in hopes of attracting some support from conservatives.
"Sen. Feinstein seems stuck in the past".