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Feinstein Leaves Judiciary Panel Amid Illness Recovery

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked to be replaced temporarily on the Judiciary Committee after two House Democrats called on her to resign after her extended absence from Washington, reports the Associated Press. The long-serving Democratic senator said her recovery from a case of shingles had been delayed because of complications. She gave no date for her return and asked Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to serve in her committee seat. “I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel,” Feinstein said. “In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco.” Feinstein, 89, is the oldest member of Congress.

Feinstein’s announcement comes amid increasing anxiety among Democrats that her lengthy absence has damaged efforts to confirm President Biden’s nominees for federal courts in a narrowly divided chamber. California Rep. Ro Khanna, one of two Democratic House members who called Wednesday for Feinstein to resign, said, “This is a moment of crisis for women’s rights and voting rights. It’s unacceptable to have Sen. Feinstein miss vote after vote to confirm judges who will uphold reproductive rights.” Feinstein announced in February that she would not seek reelection in 2024, opening her seat for the first time in over 30 years.

“We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” wrote Khanna, who has endorsed the Senate campaign of Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee. “While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties.”


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