Dianne Feinstein Appears to Lecture School Children in Argument over Green New Deal

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks with a reporter on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) lectured school children and their teachers in a meeting Friday when asked to support the Green New Deal, telling the group she will not respond to pressure as a longtime member of Congress.

The video of this exchange comes from the Sunshine Movement, a far-left advocacy organization which has championed the New Green Deal. There are several conspicuous and unexplained edits in the brief clip shared to social media, raising the possibility of some mitigating context to the contentious exchange.

The 85-year-old lawmaker is seen growing frustrated with the young group discussing so-called man-made contributions to global warming.

“Some scientists have said that we have 12 years to turn this around,” one young student tells Feinstein, echoing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who claimed during an event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. last month that the “world will end in 12 years” if the issue is not addressed.

“Well, it’s not going to get turned around in 10 years,” Feinstein bluntly replied.

“You’re looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with these consequences,” an older woman then tells Feinstein.

Another young girl chimes in: “The government is supposed to be for people, and by the people.”
An annoyed Feinstein then tells the group that she’s been “doing this for 30 years” and was recently re-elected to another four-year term.
“You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that,” the California senator said, adding, “I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality.”
“So, you know, maybe people should listen a little bit,” she advised.

Cutting off Feinstein mid-sentence, one of the activists tells the lawmakers that “any plan that doesn’t take bold, transformative action is not going to be what we need.”

“Well, you know better than I do,” Feinstein shot back sarcastically. “So, I think one day you should run for the Senate.”

“Great, I will,” the woman interrupts.

“And then you do it your way,” Feinstein went on. “In the meantime, I just won a big election.”

Last month, Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) unveiled a proposal to “transform” the U.S. economy with a “10-year national mobilization” to shift away from fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources.

An outline and FAQ for the proposal detailed eyebrow-raising goals, which included eliminating the necessity of air travel and “economic security to citizens unable or unwilling to work.” Ocasio-Cortez came under fire for attempting to claim the proposal’s FAQ, which was sent to NPR and other news outlets, is separate from the Green New Deal’s actual policy prescriptions.

Several Democrat presidential contenders, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), support the plan. At a recent campaign stop in Iowa last, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), another candidate for the White House, (D-NJ) compared the Green New Deal to fighting Nazis. “We have to deal with this. Our planet is in peril, and we need to be bold. It’s one of the reasons I signed on to the resolution. I co-sponsored the resolution for the Green New Deal,” he told supporters. “There’s a lot of people blowing back on the Green New Deal. They’re going, ‘Oh, it’s impractical, oh it’s too expensive, oh it’s all of this.’ If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the moon.”

However, not all Democrats are in favor of the proposal. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) dismissed the plan when asked if he will support it. “To be honest with you, I’ve read and I’ve re-read it, and I asked Ed Markey, ‘What in the heck is this?” he told co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday that the Green New Deal a “loser” for 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, arguing that you “don’t destabilize a society by doing too much change at once.”


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