Feinstein Is Returning to Washington

89-year-old's monthslong absence led to calls for resignation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2023 7:53 PM CDT
Feinstein Is Returning to Washington
Sen. Dianne Feinstein walks through a Senate corridor at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is returning to Washington after a long absence that led to increasingly strong calls for her resignation in recent weeks. At 89, the California Democrat is the oldest senator. She was hospitalized with shingles in February and has been absent for more than two months. Her office said Tuesday that she was on her way back to DC and could return to the Capitol as soon as Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. "I'm glad that my friend Dianne is back in the Senate and ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

"After talking with her multiple times over the past few weeks, it’s clear she’s back where she wants to be and ready to deliver for California," Schumer said. Feinstein's return will bring the Democrats back to a full majority in the Senate, the New York Times reports. With her absent from the Senate Judiciary Committee, it was difficult for Democrats to move forward with judicial nominations. Last month, she asked to be temporarily replaced on the committee, but the request got a hard no from Republicans. Feinstein has decided not to run for a seventh term in 2024, but she is likely to face more questions about her ability to serve if her health problems persist, reports the AP. (More Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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