Presidential hopeful and California senator Kamala Harris (D.) endorsed ending the filibuster and using executive action to combat climate change during CNN's climate town hall Wednesday night.
"We knew moving towards a green economy for all is critical for our planet. As we make the transition from dirty diesel and coal, our industry workers, many of whom voted for Donald Trump in the last election, may fear losing their jobs, benefits, and ability to provide for their families. How will you work across the aisle to support all workers and build trust with Republican constituents dependent on a fossil fuel economy?" an audience member asked.
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"Yeah, we need to work across the aisle. But I'm gonna tell you, I've been there now two years and some months. I'm seeing no evidence of it. I kid you guys not, in our United States Congress, I was part of a committee hearing during which the underlying premise of the hearing was to debate whether science should be the basis of public policy," Harris said.
"This on a matter that is about an existential threat to who we are as human beings. So again, back to the United States Congress, if they fail to act, as president of the United States, I am prepared to get rid of the filibuster to pass the Green New Deal."
CNN host Erin Burnett then asked Harris about how she would address President Donald Trump's rolling back of environmental regulations.
"If you had to go that way, to reinstate all those things, what would stop the next president from just undoing it and it becoming a seesaw?" Burnett asked.
Harris stressed that the issue is demanding "an incredible sense of urgency."
"If we don't take drastic action, it will be irreversible. So yes I'm going to attempt to work across the aisle, I'm going to hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle look at the babies in their life, and see what we see and see the science and stop denying the science," she said.
"But ultimately leaders need to lead. And I am prepared when elected to lead. I'm going to first attempt to work across the aisle, but if we don't see any traction there, yes I will take executive action, and yes I will do whatever is necessary. Because this is about the health and safety of our country and our world. And America has to regain its position as a leader agreeing that we are in this together with our allies and our friends and our neighbors."