Senate GOP on Feinstein Replacement: That's a No

Republicans 'of all stripes' line up against replacing the absent California Democrat
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2023 11:56 AM CDT
Senate GOP on Feinstein Replacement: That's a No
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, April 4, 2022. Democrats’ efforts to temporarily replace Feinstein on the committee met quick opposition Monday, April 17, 2023, from some Republicans.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sens. Mitch McConnell and John Fetterman got back to work on Monday after lengthy medical leaves, but Dianne Feinstein did not—and the question of whether Senate Republicans would allow a temporary replacement for her on the Judiciary Committee was quickly answered. As the Hill reports, "GOP senators of all stripes" responded with a hard no. At issue are several of President Biden's judicial nominations, which are currently stalled in the absence of the six-term, 89-year-old senator. The panel is currently deadlocked at 10-10. A look around at what Feinstein's colleagues are saying, also via Politico:

  • Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and senior member of the committee: "I, for one, am not going to help President Biden’s most unqualified nominees to get confirmed. I don’t think you’ll see us help in that effort."
  • Sen. Thom Tillis, North Carolina Republican and committee member: "I will vote against any attempt by Senate Democrats to temporarily replace Sen. Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee. I deeply respect Senator Feinstein, but this is an unprecedented request solely intended to appease those pushing for radical, activist judges."
  • Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican: "Sen. Feinstein has been an extraordinary senator and she’s a good friend of mine. During the last two years, there’s been a concerted campaign to force her off the judiciary committee, and I will have no part of that."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican: "We need to respect not only Senator Feinstein, but also our protocols here in the Senate."
  • Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican: "The Dems are sort of using this because they want pressure on her to resign. And I think this gives them sort of a lever to do that."
  • Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat and committee chair: "She’s asked to be replaced and I hope we can achieve that. … The rain can fall on both sides of the road, and Republicans ought to think a little bit about what this means. Tomorrow they may be facing the exact same thing."
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat: "She believes she will return soon. She’s very hopeful of that, and so am I."
(More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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