Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein got into a disagreement with elementary school-aged children who were trying to persuade her to vote in favor of the Green New Deal on Friday.
The interaction was filmed and posted on Twitter by the Sunrise Movement, an organization dedicated to “building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and well-being of all people,” according to their website.
“We are trying to ask you to vote yes on the Green New Deal. Please,” one child pleaded to the senator. “Some scientists have said that we have 12 years to turn this around.”
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
“Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years. What we can do is put ourselves —,” Feinstein answered, before being cut off.
“Senator, 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 the consequences,” an adult commented.
“You know what’s interesting about this group is, 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. 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,” the California congresswoman said.
— Tommy MMXIXtopher (@tommyxtopher) February 23, 2019
Feinstein proceeded to ask a teen how old she was and then pointed out that the 16-year-old could not have voted for her, despite her claim otherwise.
She added, “Senator, the cost of not taking this action is far higher than the cost of what the Green New Deal will be and there its enormous popularity for this bill around the whole country. And we’re asking you to be brave, and do this for us and for your grandchildren.”
“Any plan that doesn’t take bold, transformative action, is not going to be what we need,” an adult in the room followed up.
Feinstein went on to explain that she doesn’t believe the Green New Deal will pass in a Republican-controlled Senate, adding that she has drafted up her own version of the bill that she believes is more likely to pass. She had copies of her version of the bill printed out and distributed among the group.
Feinstein went on to say she might vote in favor of the current Green New Deal resolution and even offered one of the teenagers an internship.
The Green New Deal is a piece of draft legislation to create a committee to come up with a plan to completely shift the U.S. off of fossil fuels within 10 years. The plan also calls for a host of social welfare programs.
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the movement’s lead backer. Many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have announced their support for the resolution.