Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) revealed late on Wednesday that she has asked that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) allow another Democrat senator to take her spot on Judiciary Committee amid her ongoing health struggles.
Feinstein, 89, has been battling health issues in recent years and was hospitalized last month after being diagnosed with a case of shingles.
“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis.”
Feinstein said that she intends to return as soon as possible once her doctor advises her that it is safe to travel. In the meantime, she says that she is working from San Francisco.
“I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee, so I’ve asked Leader Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve until I’m able to resume my committee work,” she said.
Feinstein’s statement comes after Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) called on her to resign earlier in the day, saying that it has become “obvious” that she can no longer fulfill her duties in the U.S. Senate.
“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign,” Khanna said 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,” he added.
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Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) later agreed with Khanna, writing: “I agree with @RoKhanna.”
“Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable,” he added. “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.”
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