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Sen. Diane Feinstein Back In Senate After Bout With Shingles & Calls For Resignation

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is traveling back to Washington, D.C. for the first time in months, following a bout with severe shingles. The senator has been recovering in California since she came down with the illness in February.

The travel plans are welcome news to Democrats hoping to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling this month.

Party unity began to unravel as they grappled with the senator’s illness. Feinstein’s absence left Democrats, who hold a one-seat majority in the Senate, a single vote away from approving multiple judicial nominees in the past three months.

House Democrats, including fellow Californian Ro Khanna, called on the senator to step down as she continued to miss Senate votes.

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Instead of caving to pressure, Feinstein requested a temporary removal from her judiciary committee assignments. A vote to replace her failed after Republicans voted against the move.

Democrats, now facing mounting pressures to raise the debt ceiling, need every vote in the Senate to pass meaningful legislation.

“I’m glad that my friend Dianne is back in the Senate and ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in a statement. “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.”

Feinstein, who faced ongoing reports of memory loss before her shingles diagnosis, said that she would not seek reelection in 2024.

Ben Shimkus

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