Several Democratic senators were asked Sunday whether Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., should resign from the Senate amid her ongoing health issues, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., saying time is running out for the 89-year-old to return.
Klobuchar told ABC’s “This Week” that Feinstein, who hasn’t voted since Feb. 16, “better” get back to the Senate in time for the vote on raising the debt ceiling this summer.
“In that case, we will eventually need his vote in the Senate,” she said. “We have things like the debt ceiling coming up. But I think what we have to do is take her word for it, she’s recovering from shingles, and make sure she comes back. If this continues month after month after month, then she will have to make a decision with her family and friends about what her future holds.
“Because it’s not just about California. It is also a question of nation,” she continued. “And we just can’t, with that margin of a vote, and expect every other person to be there every time. It will become a problem over the months, but I take her at her word that she will come back.
DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES LIGHT UP DIANNE FEINSTEIN, CALL ON HER TO RESIGN FROM SENATE: ‘NON-RELIANCE OF DUTY’
Feinstein, who served in the Senate for more than 30 years, was hospitalized with shingles last month and has faced other health issues, including reports related to his mental health. She had already faced calls to resign before announcing her intention not to stand for re-election earlier this year.
Representatives Ro Khanna, D-California, and Dean Phillips, D-Minn., issued the call for Feinstein’s resignation.
“While she has had her whole life in the public service, it is obvious that she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking up undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people,” Khanna said last week.
“Sen. Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable,” Phillips said. “But I believe it is now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain silent,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY., took a similar tone to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in suggesting sexism was at play in the appeals against Feinstein.
“His legacy and depth of experience are valuable. And we’ve had so many senators who have been sick, whether [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s illnesses, or senators who have had strokes. These are issues that — we’re human,” Gillibrand said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“And we think a senator should be able to decide for themselves when they retire and when they don’t, and they all deserve a chance to improve and get back to work,” she said. . “She is a team player and an extraordinary member of the Senate. It is his right. She was elected by her state to be a senator for six years, she has the right, in my opinion, to decide when she resigns.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that “it’s up to Dianne Feinstein and her family whether she wants to continue serving.”
“I certainly wish Senator Feinstein good luck, and I’m glad she made the decision to have a replacement for her seat on the Judiciary Committee,” Baldwin said. “I think it’s a really important and responsible thing to do while he’s gone, because we have President Biden’s nominees waiting for hearings and votes, and we want that to continue. But I wish her good luck and I hope she returns to the Senate very soon.
Feinstein said in a statement Wednesday that she plans to temporarily step down from the Judiciary Committee.
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“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to be back by the end of the March shift,” Feinstein said. “Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to ongoing complications related to my diagnosis.
“I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises me that it is safe to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to my work and will continue to work from my home in San Francisco. »
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.
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