Feinstein Lectures Children Who Want Green New Deal, Portraying It as Untenable

Senator Dianne Feinstein found herself in a standoff Friday with a group of schoolchildren who confronted her about her refusal to support the Green New Deal.

In a video posted by the Sunrise Movement, which encourages young people to combat climate change, an exchange quickly became tense once Ms. Feinstein started to explain her opposition to the Green New Deal, an ambitious Democratic-led proposal that calls for a radical transformation of the United States’ energy sector.

“There’s no way to pay for it,” Ms. Feinstein told the group of about 15 children at her San Francisco office.

“We have tons of money going to the military,” a young girl responded, only to receive a lecture about the realpolitik of passing bills in a Republican-led Senate.

“That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them,” said Ms. Feinstein, Democrat of California. She added, “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.”

[Read about the Green New Deal and the debate surrounding it.]

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, plans to bring the Green New Deal to a vote as early as next week, a move that could split Democrats. Republicans hope to put Democrats, particularly those running for president in 2020, on the record regarding a plan that the right has ridiculed as a “socialist fantasy.”

The Green New Deal calls for a “10-year mobilization” to make the United States carbon neutral, meaning as much carbon would have to be absorbed as emitted into the atmosphere. It also requires shifting away from fossil fuels and supplying 100 percent of the country’s electricity from carbon-free energy sources.

Twelve Democratic senators have embraced the proposal, which was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. Members of the Sunrise Movement have held rallies and protests this week urging Democrats who have not co-sponsored the measure to vote for it when it comes to the floor.

In a statement late Friday, Ms. Feinstein called the interaction with the Sunrise Movement “a spirited discussion” and said she wanted the children to know that “they were heard loud and clear.”

“I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation,” she said.

Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, in a statement called Ms. Feinstein “out of touch” and said the interaction shows that the Democratic Party needs “fundamental change.”

The exchange between Ms. Feinstein and the children became more testy when a young woman accompanying them told the senator 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 the consequences.”

Ms. Feinstein chafed at the lecture, replying that she has seven grandchildren and is mindful of the threat of climate change. A decade ago, she championed ambitious legislation that would have put a cap on emissions that cause climate-warming pollution.

“You know what’s interesting about this group?” she asked. “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.”

Ms. Feinstein then tried to explain an alternate measure she has endorsed, which calls for a slightly later timeline in reducing carbon emissions. That solution, the young woman replied, is not good enough.

“You know better than I do, so I think one day you should run for the Senate and then you do it your way,” Ms. Feinstein told the young woman.

“Great,” she replied. “I will.”


Source

more recommended stories

  • Its Territory May Be Gone, but the U.S. Fight Against ISIS Is Far From Over

    WASHINGTON — The fight to expel.

  • At Democratic Campaign Events, Mueller Report Is Barely Mentioned

    RYE, N.H. — For Democratic presidential.

  • Personal Data of 2.3 Million Disaster Victims Was Released by FEMA, Report Says

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency unnecessarily.

  • $1 Billion for Mental Health: The Reality of de Blasio’s ‘Revolutionary’ Plan

    [What you need to know to.

  • The Fight to Tame a Swelling River With Dams That May Be Outmatched by Climate Change

    Want climate news in your inbox?.

  • ‘Florida Is Tired of Being a Cheap Date’: Andrew Gillum Wants to Help Democrats Win in 2020

    Andrew Gillum has more free time.

  • Report Says U.S. Airstrikes Have Killed 14 Civilians in Somalia

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Pentagon.

  • On C-Span’s 40th Anniversary, a Top Executive Reflects on Its Political Impact

    Forty years ago, C-Span went live.

  • Trump Renews Attacks on John McCain, Months After Senator’s Death

    WASHINGTON — Tucked between St. Patrick’s.

  • After 2 Crashes of New Boeing Jet, Pilot Training Now a Focus

    The chief executive of Boeing backed.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    Meanwhile, candidates’ moves to the left.

  • In Beto O’Rourke’s Announcement, His Wife’s Silence Stands Out

    Beto O’Rourke, the charismatic Texas Democrat.

  • Mnuchin Vows to Protect Trump’s Privacy if Tax Returns Sought

    WASHINGTON — Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury.

  • Trump on Tech: Planes Are ‘Too Complex to Fly,’ and ‘What Is Digital?’

    WASHINGTON — He prefers Sharpies over.

  • Congress Warns Against Medicaid Cuts: ‘You Just Wait for the Firestorm’

    WASHINGTON — If President Trump allows.

  • ‘Airbnb Tax’ in N.J. Opens New Front in Battle Over Internet Economy

    [What you need to know to.

  • In Unusual Move, Fox News Condemns Jeanine Pirro’s Remarks on Muslim Legislator

    In an unusual reproach, Fox News.

  • Netanyahu-Trump Partnership Is Stronger Than Ever. Are These Its Final Days?

    What was missing with Mr. Trump,.

  • New Images of North Korea Buildup Confront Trump’s Hopes for Disarmament

    WASHINGTON — President Trump was forced.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    From the president’s checks to a.

  • Chelsea Manning Is Jailed for Refusing to Testify in WikiLeaks Case

    WASHINGTON — Chelsea Manning, the former.

  • When Foreign Leaders Send Presidents a Gift, Flattery is Usually a Theme

    Foreign officials also appear to have.

  • On Politics: Trade Deficit Hits Record $891 Billion

    • Trade talks between the United.

  • U.S. and E.U. Are Headed for a Food Fight Over Trade

    WASHINGTON — After a White House.

  • House’s Anti-Semitism Resolution Surfaces Generational Fight Over Ilhan Omar

    WASHINGTON — The decision by House.

  • Roger Stone Faces Questions Over Whether He Violated Gag Order

    The former Trump adviser Roger Stone.

  • On Politics: Behind the Failed Trump-Kim Summit

    President Trump made a bet that.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    From Michael Cohen’s testimony to the.

  • Manafort’s Lawyers, Saying He Learned ‘Harsh Lesson,’ Seek Lenient Sentence

    WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Paul Manafort,.

  • On Politics: Trump Ordered Kushner’s Security Clearance

    • Mr. Trump declared on Thursday.

  • What to Watch For in Thursday’s G.D.P. Report

    After a monthlong delay because of.

  • Supreme Court Seems Ready to Allow Cross Honoring War Dead

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court seemed.