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Senator Clashes With Kids: 'I Know What I'm Doing'

Sen. Dianne Feinstein resists pressure to back the Green New Deal
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2019 1:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein disagreed with a group of schoolchildren over climate change Friday and saw a video of the tense exchange hit the Internet, CNN reports. "I've been doing this for 30 years. I know what I'm doing," Feinstein tells the dozen-or-so children and several adults who met with her in San Francisco. "You come in here and you say, 'It has to be my way or the highway.' I don't respond to that." The group was urging her to change her mind and back the Green New Deal, a progressive plan to limit climate change over the next decade. "There's no way to pay for it," says Feinstein, which prompts a girl to respond: "We have tons of money going to the military." The California Democrat then reminds the children that they're up against a GOP-led Senate, per the New York Times.

"That resolution will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them," she says. The tension mounts when a woman in the group says Feinstein is "looking at the faces of the people who will be living with these consequences," and the senator soon retorts, "I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality, and I know what I'm doing. So, you know, maybe people should listen to me a little bit." The video was posted by the Sunrise Movement, which urges young people to get involved in climate-change advocacy. The movement's leader, Varshini Prakash, calls Feinstein "out of touch" and says the Democrats need "fundamental change." For her part, Feinstein issued a statement saying she heard the children "loud and clear." (Read more climate change stories.)

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