In this image from video, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks on the Senate floor about the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020.InternationalIndiaAfricaSo far this year, Feinstein has missed 60 of 82 votes and her absence has resulted in 14 judicial confirmation votes being delayed.Senate Republicans blocked a Democrat attempt on Tuesday to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee while she recovers from a shingles infection.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked for unanimous consent to replace Feinstein, but it was blocked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the ranking Republican on the panel.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has contended that the majority of Biden’s appointments have bipartisan support and claims Democrats are trying to push through “a small sliver of nominees who are especially extreme or especially unqualified.”Schumer stated before the request that he wanted to replace Feinstein with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).Feinstein has been absent since March when she was hospitalized with a shingles infection. She has since returned home but is still recovering.
“I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel,” Feinstein said earlier amid calls for her to resign from some in her party. “In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco."
A date has not been set for when Feinstein may return to Washington.AmericasFeinstein Asks to Temporarily Step Down After House Dems Accuses Her of ‘Dereliction of Duty’13 April, 03:43 GMTAt least two Democrats have called on Feinstein to resign, with Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Dean Phillips (D-MN) calling on the senator to resign last week. In response to those calls, Feinstein asked Schumer to temporarily replace her on the judicial committee until she can return.McConnell called the request “extremely unusual” and early Tuesday before the request for unanimous consent, confirmed that the Republican party would not facilitate any temporary changes to committee assignments. “Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporary absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees,” he said.Changes to committee assignments would require 60 votes in the Senate – Democrats currently hold a slim majority of 51-49. Senate Judiciary Committee member Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Democrats may try to move forward without Feinstein. “We will use all of the rules and tools available,” he said at the time.‘It’s Bad and Getting Worse’: Fellow Dems Voice Concerns Over Dianne Feinstein’s Job Performance15 April 2022, 01:55 GMTEven before the shingles infection, there have been calls for Feinstein to resign due to her age and possible cognitive decline. Multiple outlets, including conservative and left-leaning publications, have covered her alleged mental decline, alleging the lawmaker often forgets what her staff briefed her on, or that she had been briefed at all.Feinstein, is the oldest sitting member of Congress and will turn 90 in June. She announced in February that she plans to retire at the end of her term in 2024. Hours after the announcement, she told a reporter that the decision had not yet been made. Her office blamed the mixup on “confusion on timing,” but a media outlet reported they were told by a staffer that she approved the announcement that same day.Democrats may force a vote on temporarily replacing Feinstein without Republican support. While success is unlikely, the move could be useful to get Republicans on record in case the roles are someday reversed. Earlier this year, McConnell missed several weeks after suffering a fractured rib and concussion from a fall.If she completes her term, Feinstein will be 91 when she retires.