California Senator Diane Feinstein's condescending reaction to a group of schoolchildren brought into her office to plead for her support for the Green New Deal is going viral, provoking an apology and a climate bill of her own. "You come in here and say, it has to my way or the highway". Activists from the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate-change advocacy group, posted video on social media of the confrontation, where Feinstein said "I've been doing this for 30 years, I know what I'm doing". "You didn't vote for me", Feinstein told one 16-year-old after learning she was under the legal voting age.
Feinstein subsequently had copies of the resolution that she supports handed out to the activists in the room.
"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", she said. "I've been doing this for 30 years".
"And then you do it your way", Feinstein went on.
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". "But we're the people who voted you, you're supposed to listen to us".
"I hear what you're saying, but we're the people who voted for you", said a teenage girl.
Feinstein told the students she is opposed to the Green New Deal for several reasons, including "we can't pay for it" and she doesn't agree with what it says. Nonetheless, her responses were exactly how not to respond to children terrified about their future, and they do not inspire confidence. "And you can take that back to whoever sent you here".
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Stephen O'Hanlon, a spokesman for the group, identified the protesters in the video as Sunrise Movement "supporters and family members" in the Bay Area.
In a statement Friday evening, the senator said: "I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear ..."
"We had a spirited discussion and I presented the group with my draft resolution that provides specific responses to the climate change crisis, which I plan to introduce soon".
Among other issues, the Green New Deal calls for a job-guarantee program offering a "living wage job to every person who wants one", a plan to aid workers affected by climate change, universal health care - and basic income programs.
Last month, Ocasio-Cortez and Sen.
The Green New Deal, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen.
Even Nancy Pelosi referred to the plan as a "green dream".