Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been facing increasing pressure from within her party to resign due to her prolonged absence from the Senate. Due to ongoing medical complications, Feinstein’s absence has delayed the Biden administration’s nomination and appointment of critical federal judges.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) recently took to Twitter to assert that it is time for Feinstein, the longest-serving current member of the Senate, to step aside. He emphasized the need for speed and urgency in confirming judicial nominees who will protect abortion rights, something he believes Feinstein is currently unable to do.
It’s time for @POTUS to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While he has had a lifetime of grifting off of public service it is obvious he can no longer fulfill his duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives. https://t.co/1oagumzfzI
— #gaybaristapaulforpresident (@PaulSorrentino3) April 13, 2023
Feinstein, 89, was hospitalized last month for a case of shingles and has since experienced complications related to her diagnosis. However, she has not signaled any intention to resign.
The senator’s health has been the subject of speculation for years. She announced in February that she would not seek reelection. Feinstein’s decision to return home to San Francisco has left the Democratic party with an even slimmer majority in the Senate at 50-49.
The absence of Feinstein from the Senate Judiciary Committee has also hampered the Democrats’ ability to move forward with appointments to the federal judiciary. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would be responsible for making an appointment to replace Feinstein if she resigns before her term ends next year.
Khanna is not the only House Democrat calling for Feinstein’s resignation. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) has also voiced his opinion on Twitter, urging others to do the same. Phillips acknowledged Feinstein’s contributions to the country but maintained that her continued presence in the Senate constitutes a dereliction of duty.
Jon Lovett, a former Obama administration staffer joined the chorus of voices calling for Feinstein’s resignation. He highlighted her absence as an obstacle to confirming President Biden’s judicial nominations, stating that Feinstein should no longer serve in the Senate.
In a statement, Feinstein explained that her return to Washington had been delayed due to her medical diagnosis. Still, she remains committed to her job and will continue working from her San Francisco home. She has asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to request another Democratic senator temporarily serve on the Judiciary Committee until she can resume her duties.
Feinstein’s situation has spotlighted the three California members of Congress who have entered the race for her seat: Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Katie Porter (D-CA).
As calls for Feinstein’s resignation grow louder, the Democratic party must navigate the challenges her absence presents and the potential impact on their slim majority in the Senate. With Feinstein’s health remaining a concern, it remains to be seen how the situation will unfold and if the senator will ultimately step down.