On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama’s ex-speechwriter Jon Lovett encouragingly requested Sen. Dianne Feinstein to step down due to her extended illness-related absence from the Senate.
On March 2nd, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the oldest active member of the Senate, disclosed that she had been hospitalized for shingles treatment after being diagnosed with an infection in February.
After being discharged from the San Francisco hospital on March 7, the 89-year-old Senator is yet to make her way back to Capitol Hill.
Lovett, who is also the co-founder of progressive media company Crooked Media, suggested that Feinstein’s prolonged absence from the upper chamber is preventing judges from getting confirmed — and more people should pressure her to resign immediately.
“There’s been a lot of reporting about Dianne Feinstein no longer being fit to serve in the Senate representing the biggest state in this country. She is currently out for shingles. That is sad. That is obviously not her fault,” Lovett stated on his podcast, “Pod Save America.”
“But because she is not in the Judiciary Committee, [Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin] has said that it has made it basically impossible to move a lot of these lower court nominees to the Senate for a vote, which means that Dianne Feinstein, who should not be in the Senate, is now preventing us from being able to confirm judges,” Lovett stated.
“I think what the people around Dianne Feinstein are doing, allowing, being part of this farce of having a lack of a senator in such an important job is really wrong,” he added. “And Dianne Feinstein should no longer be in the Senate. She has to resign and more people should be calling on her to resign.”
Feinstein expressed her joy at being discharged from the hospital and shared that she’s now “recovering at home,” where she is still undergoing treatment for shingles. She looks forward to “returning to the Senate as soon as possible.”
For the past few weeks, Democrats in the Senate have been at a disadvantage of 49 members to match Republicans due to Senator Dianne Feinstein and Sen. John Fetterman’s (D-Pa.) absence; Fetterman is receiving treatment for clinical depression.
Earlier this month, Senator Durbin expressed to The Hill that the Democrats in the Senate aspiring to be “back to full strength” after Easter.
In February, Senator Dianne Feinstein declared that she would not be running for re-election in 2024, putting an end to her extraordinary six-term career.
When the spotlight shone on her that day and reporters inquired about the announcement, the California Democrat seemed puzzled by its sudden emergence.
“You put out the statement?” an astonished-sounding Feinstein asked, before informing journalists: “I didn’t know they put it out.”
“It is what it is,” the senator continued. “I think the time has come. I have a whole other year. I have things that are underway. I expect to achieve them, I hope, and so we’ll see.”
In April 2020, unnamed Senate colleagues and past staff members voiced concerns that Senator Feinstein was exhibiting signs of quickening memory loss while her aides were doing the majority of the work.
Representatives Porter (D-Calif.) and Schiff (D-Calif.) have both declared their intentions to campaign for the open seat in 2024.