Senators praise Feinstein’s decision to step down from Judiciary Committee


“Dianne will get better. She will come back to work. And she’s already told Senator Schumer … that he can replace her on the judiciary committee if it’s urgent for these hearings for judges,” Gillibrand said, referencing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“She’s a team player, and she’s an extraordinary member of the Senate,” Gillibrand said. “It’s her right. She’s been voted by her state to be senator for six years. She has the right, in my opinion, to decide when she steps down.”

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also praised Feinstein’s decision to step down from the committee and supported her decision to remain in the Senate.

“I wish her well. I hope she returns to the Senate very soon,” Baldwin said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

And Feinstein’s colleagues should “take her at her word,” that she intends to return to the office, Klobuchar said.

“I think she made the right decision to step off the Judiciary Committee. I serve on that committee, and we cannot advance judges or legislation with a missing person because of the close vote,” Klobuchar said on ABC’s “This Week.”

But if her absence continues for an extended length, “then she’s going to have to make a decision with her family and her friends about what her future holds,” Klobuchar said. “Because this isn’t just about California, it’s also about the nation. And we just can’t — with this one vote margin — and expect every other person to be there every single time.”

Democrats will need Feinstein’s vote, Klobuchar said, especially as Congress readies itself for a debt-ceiling standoff.

Feinstein, who was first elected in 1992, has already said she will not seek another term in 2024.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) called for Feinstein to step down last week, as Senate Democrats face an ongoing struggle to confirm President Joe Biden’s judicial picks without her vote.

Khanna doubled down on his call for Feinstein to step down immediately during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Only in Washington would you get criticized for saying something so obvious,” he said to host Shannon Bream. “I have a lot of respect for Senator Feinstein, but she’s missed 75 percent of votes at this year. She has not been showing up and she has no intention. We don’t know if she’s even going to show up. She has no return date.”

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