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.”