Colleague Prompts a Confused Feinstein

Senator started to give a speech in a hearing when she'd been called on to vote
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2023 4:10 PM CDT
Colleague Prompts a Confused Feinstein
Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on July 12.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein became confused during a committee hearing on Thursday and had to be told to cast a vote by another senator. California's senior senator, who returned to the Capitol in May after missing more than two months with health issues, tried to give a speech during an Appropriations Committee hearing on the defense spending bill, CNN reports. But she'd been called on just to cast an "aye" or "nay" vote. Feinstein didn't answer at first, so a fellow Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray, repeatedly told her, "Say aye."

As Feinstein began her speech, an aide also told her it wasn't the time for that, per Yahoo News. After Murray's final prompt, Feinstein leaned back in her chair and said, "Aye." (See video of the moment via NBC News.) Because of the clout Appropriations has, and given the seniority system, the panel's members often are among the oldest senators. Feinstein, 90, is the oldest member of the Senate overall and has said she's not going to seek reelection next year. She has appeared confused several times since her return, including when she voted in favor of a Republican amendment in another committee's hearing recently. (Sen. Mitch McConnell had an episode the day before.)

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