Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has asked to be temporarily replaced on the Judiciary Committee as she continues her recovery from shingles, but hasn’t heeded calls for her resignation.
Feinstein, 89, was diagnosed in late February and has been absent from the Senate since then.
Acknowledging that her absence has hindered the work of the powerful Judiciary Committee, the senator said in an April 12 statement that she had asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to temporarily replace her.
“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis,” she said in an April 12 statement, adding that she remains committed to the job and continues to work from home.
Feinstein, who has served in the Senate since 1992, had previously announced that she wouldn’t seek reelection in 2024.
Regardless, some in the senator’s own party pressed for her resignation.
“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.
“We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”
Khanna co-chairs the campaign of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to fill Feinstein’s seat in the next election.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), in his own tweet, agreed with Khanna.
“Sen. Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet.”
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) rose to Feinstein’s defense.
“Senator Feinstein continues to serve California and America honorably and courageously,” Garamendi said in an April 13 statement.
“Senator Feinstein exemplifies every quality we should expect from elected officials,” Garamendi added. “I strongly believe that Senator Feinstein deserves our respect and the opportunity to complete her final term in the U.S. Senate.”
In Feinstein’s absence, the Judiciary Committee is deadlocked, preventing the appointment of federal judges and other committee action.
“I can’t consider nominees in these circumstances because a tie vote is a losing vote in committee,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the committee, said in an April 10 interview.
Feinstein’s absence also cuts into the razor-thin Senate majority, in which Democrats and independents control 51 seats to the Republicans’ 49.
Freshman Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) has been absent from the upper chamber since mid-February while being treated for depression. Fetterman is expected to return on April 17.
From The Epoch Times