Spokeswoman said, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is rejoining the Senate after a nearly three-month vacation due to health issues.
Feinstein is anticipated to vote on Wednesday, marking her first official vote since February 16. Prior to that, she had missed 91-floor votes as she recovered from shingles.
Feinstein’s absence impacted her party’s efforts to confirm some of President Joe Biden’s nominees, as Democrats only had a one-seat advantage in the Senate. Her absence was most noticeable on the Judiciary Committee, where an 11-10 majority turned into a 10-10 deadlock, hampering Democratic attempts to approve some judges and thwarting any plans to issue subpoenas on party-line votes.
Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempts to temporarily replace Feinstein on the committee with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., last month. Many said they could not vote to facilitate Biden’s appointment of radical or otherwise objectionable judicial choices. Later, Feinstein denied that the number of nominations the committee approved was in any way constrained by her absence.
“There has been no slowdown,” Feinstein wrote in a statement last week after the Judiciary Committee advanced seven less controversial nominees on a bipartisan basis. “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.”
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With the support of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Senate Republicans were able to repeal new air pollution standards in a 50-49 vote while Feinstein was absent. Expect a veto from Biden.
Susan tweeted that Dianne Feinstein, at 89 years old and clearly in frail health, won’t retire gracefully. You can see below:
I honestly cannot fathom why Dianne Feinstein, at 89 years old and clearly in frail health, won’t retire gracefully. pic.twitter.com/Kh9QxvEsKi
— Susan 🇺🇸🐊 (@SMF904) May 11, 2023
Feinstein, who is the oldest senator at 89, has stated that she plans to leave the Senate at the beginning of 2025 when her term finishes. Since 1992, she has held a Senate position.
Some have called for Feinstein to quit early so that Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom may fill her seat by appointment immediately. The primary to fill Feinstein’s safe Democratic seat is likely to be one of the major battles next year. The calls, which Feinstein’s supporters have criticized as being ageist and sexist, might now stop as a result of her return.
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