Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who returned to Washington, DC on Tuesday, after a long absence during which she was recovering from shingles, missed Senate votes Wednesday.
CNN’s Manuraju reported that the 89-year old senator missed voting on Wednesday. She did, however, make an appearance at Capitol Hill on the afternoon of Wednesday.
Feinstein is planning to retire after her current term. She has not been at work since 2023, when she was hospitalized for shingles. She missed 90 votes during her absence, giving the Republicans the power to block some of Joe Biden’s nominees for the Supreme Court.
Many lawmakers demanded that she resign due to her continued absence in order to name a successor. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (DNY) tried to fill her Judiciary Committee seat temporarily in her absence.
The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL, told CNN he did not know her return date but he hoped she would be back “soon.”
Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader (D-NY), told reporters on Wednesday that “she’s back in Washington.” She’s ready to go help the people in California, but she hasn’t said when she will be returning to the Senate.
Feinstein released a press release stating that she was back in D.C. to “resume her Senate duties” while she recovers from the shingles.
I am ready to resume my Senate duties now that I’m back in Washington. I am grateful for all of the good wishes over the last couple of months, and for the excellent medical care I received in San Francisco.
There are many issues that the Senate must address, but it is most important to make sure our government does not default on its financial commitments. I am also looking forward to returning to my work as a member of the Judiciary Committee, which reviews the president’s nominees for judicial positions.
Although I have made great progress and returned to Washington, the shingles virus is still causing me some side effects. My doctors advised me to take a more relaxed schedule when I return to the Senate. I hope that these issues will diminish as I continue my recovery.
During her absence she received many calls from the left to resign, including Democratic Reps. Ro Kohna (D-CA), Dean Phillips(D-MN), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY). Over 60 groups with a left-leaning bent from California also called on her to resign her U.S. Senate position after she missed dozens of Senate voting.