Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is back in Washington, D.C., after a month’s long absence due to an illness.
However, as of Wednesday morning, she was still not back to work in the Senate.
CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted, “Dianne Feinstein, who returned to Washington yesterday after recovering from an illness since February, missed the first vote today.”
He noted Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters he does not know when Feinstein will be back to work.
However, Durbin added, “I hope she comes back soon.”
Belief in the Senate is she could be back tomorrow when Senate Judiciary meets.
“She's back here in Washington. And she's raring to go to help the people of California,” Schumer told reporters, declining to say when he expects her back
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 10, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters, “She’s back here in Washington. And she’s raring to go to help the people of California.”
However, he did not share when he believes Feinstein will be back in the Senate.
Raju noted, “Belief in the Senate is she could be back tomorrow when Senate Judiciary meets.”
Feinstein returned to the nation’s capital on Tuesday.
In March, she shared she had been hospitalized for shingles.
“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco,” the senator told Fox News Digital in March. She also stated she hoped to return to the Senate later that month.
However, as her absence drew on, calls grew for the 89-year-old senator to resign.
On Friday, The New York Times’ editorial board argued in a column:
“If she cannot fulfill her obligations to the Senate and to her constituents, she should resign and turn over her responsibilities to an appointed successor. If she is unable to reach that decision on her own, Mr. Schumer, the majority leader, and other Democratic senators should make it clear to her and the public how important it is that she do so.”
Additionally, the Times noted Feinstein’s absence has made it difficult for Democrats to advance nominations to the Senate floor. The column pointed out proxy voting is allowed for committees. However, a proxy vote cannot be the deciding vote for the committee if there is an even split.
“Senate seats are not lifetime sinecures, and if members can’t effectively represent their constituents or work for the benefit of their country, they should not hesitate to turn the job over to someone who can. Ms. Feinstein owes California a responsible decision,” it added.
Feinstein has resisted calls for her resignation due to her absence from the Senate. In an April statement, the senator said she remains “committed to the job.”
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