Feinstein returns to Senate after months away

The long-serving Senator is back from a health scare as she looks to wrap up her final term in office.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein has returned to Washington D.C. after a lengthy absence due to health issues. 

Her return secures the ability for Democrats to push through judicial nominations. 


The backstory: Feinstein’s absence had prompted some members of her own party to call for her resignation, citing concerns about her health and ability to serve. 

  • Feinstein had been hospitalized in California for shingles and then spent weeks recovering at home. 
  • Her absence left Democrats with a narrow 50-49 margin in the upper chamber. 
  • Feinstein requested that she temporarily be replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee in April, but the move was blocked by her colleagues.

Driving the news: The 89-year-old Senator dismissed claims that her absence impacted the confirmation of nominees, stating last week that “there has been no slowdown.” 

  • Feinstein’s return comes as Congress faces a fast-approaching deadline to reach a deal on increasing the debt limit. 

What they’re saying: “I’m confident that when I return to the Senate, we will be able to remove the remaining qualified nominees out of committee quickly and to the Senate floor for a vote,” Feinstein said last week. 

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed Feinstein back to the upper house. 
  • “After talking with her multiple times over the past few weeks, it’s clear she’s back where she wants to be and ready to deliver for California.”
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