Democrats Call for Dianne Feinstein to Resign, But the 89-Year-Old Wants to Be ‘Temporarily’ Replaced Instead
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who has been a politician since 1969, is facing calls to resign from her Democrat peers. She has another idea: she has requested a ‘temporary’ arrangement in which she would be replaced due to an ongoing medical issue.
Reports surfaced earlier this week indicating Feinstein had missed 58 Senate votes (60 of 82 overall this year) since being hospitalized with shingles.
Shingles can be an incredibly painful rash in which the pain persists even after the rash itself dissipates.
The problem, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, is that her absence, coupled with Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s extended treatment for depression, is holding up confirmation of President Biden’s judicial nominees and/or getting legislation passed.
The Democrats currently own a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, and without those two at work, the only way for them to move forward is with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Dianne Feinstein, 89, is MIA and has missed 60 of the 82 votes the Senate has taken this year, and her absence is holding up the confirmation of Biden’s judicial picks at a really critical time. She needs to resign right now, not retire after the term. https://t.co/nHveg9JTyI
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) April 11, 2023
Dianne Feinstein Defends Leave, Bats Away Calls to Resign
Senator Dianne Feinstein has defended her leave in recent months as being unexpected in length due to the medical complications involved with the shingles.
And, in a spectacular display of ageism, a pair of Democrats publicly called for her resignation.
Not the guy in Fetterman who suffered a stroke that left him incapable of communicating with his colleagues, was hospitalized overnight just one month into his term, and who has lost a significant amount of time being treated for severe clinical depression – after having only served in the Senate since January.
No, the problem is exclusively Feinstein. Democrat Representatives Ro Khanna (CA) and Dean Phillips (MN) have made that quite clear.
It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. 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.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) April 12, 2023
“It’s time for (Feinstein) to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Khanna tweeted.
“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.”
Phillips chimed in shortly thereafter voicing his agreement with Khanna’s sentiments.
“Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable,” Phillips wrote. “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.”
Fetterman is set to return to work in the Senate on April 17th. He had been hospitalized in early March. It is nearly an identical timeframe to Feinstein’s absence.
I agree with @RoKhanna. Senator 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. https://t.co/lvaHhLJYsi
— Rep. Dean Phillips ?? (@RepDeanPhillips) April 12, 2023
Not Prepared to Go Anywhere
Despite mounting pressure to resign immediately, Dianne Feinstein has indicated she will continue in her role, but did offer a temporary solution.
She requested Wednesday for Senate Leader Chuck Schumer “to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve” on the Senate Judiciary Committee “until I’m able to resume my committee work.”
The senator did not provide a timeline for when she expects to be able to resume her duties.
Feinstein asks to be ‘temporarily’ replaced on Judiciary amid some party pressure to resign from the Senate https://t.co/aEW8Xj7LED
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 13, 2023
Just weeks before being hospitalized with shingles, Feinstein announced her retirement, issuing a statement indicating she would not seek re-election in 2024.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” the statement read.
Hours later, speaking to reporters, she seemed unaware that she had made the announcement. Her staff later chalked it up to a miscommunication on when the statement would be released.
Feinstein on her retirement: “I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything.”
Staffer: “We put out the statement.”
Feinstein: “You put out the statement? I didn’t know they put it out.”
— Savannah Behrmann (@SavBehrmannDC) February 14, 2023
To be fair, Democrats have been calling for Dianne Feinstein to resign for quite some time.
The San Francisco Chronicle this past April reported that her Senate colleagues anonymously blasted her as not being mentally competent enough to do her job as a lawmaker.
Feinstein, according to a report by the New Yorker in 2020, had been “seriously struggling” with cognitive decline back then.
She will be 91 years old when her current term ends in 2024.
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