Feinstein Says She'll Be Back in Congress, Doesn't Say When

There have been calls for senator to resign amid extended medical absence
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
Feinstein Says She'll Be Back in Congress, Doesn't Say When
FILE - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questions Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 22, 2022.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

There have been calls for Dianne Feinstein to resign amid the 89-year-old senator's extended medical absence from Congress, but she doesn't seem to have any interest in heeding them. Feinstein, who is recovering from shingles, released a statement Thursday in response to complaints that her absence is making it harder for Democrats to confirm judicial nominees to the federal judiciary; several have not been able to advance because Republicans are unlikely to support them, Axios reports. However, Feinstein, who is retiring at the end of her current term, pushed back on those claims and reaffirmed that she will be returning to the Senate, though she didn't say when, CNN reports.

"The Senate continues to swiftly confirm highly qualified individuals to the federal judiciary, including seven more judicial nominees who were confirmed this week. There has been no slowdown," she says. However, the statement continues, "I’m disappointed that Republicans on the committee are blocking a few from moving forward. I’m confident that when I return to the Senate, we will be able to move the remaining qualified nominees out of committee quickly and to the Senate floor for a vote." Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin has previously said Feinstein's absence is slowing things down, though he hasn't called for her resignation. But he has said that "of course" her absence has an impact: "I can’t consider nominees in these circumstances because a tie vote is a losing vote in committee." (More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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