Missing in action Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) surfaced amid mounting criticism from members of her own party, issuing a statement teasing her return and rejecting the notion that her prolonged absence has been an impediment on the Judiciary Committee in confirming judges while lashing out at Republicans for not confirming a small number of President Joe Biden’s most extreme nominees.
The 89-year-old Democrat, whose decline in cognitive capabilities due to advanced age has reduced her from the overbearing presence that she once was to little more than a warm body and a vote for Biden’s ruinous agenda, has been sidelined for over two months after she was hospitalized with a case of shingles, a painful nerve condition, with the vague situation leading some to speculate that she may be out for good.
“The Senate continues to swiftly confirm highly qualified individuals to the federal judiciary, including seven more judicial nominees who were confirmed this week. There has been no slowdown,” Feinstein said, denying that she’s been a speedbump in the process.
“While the Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced eight strong nominees during my absence, I’m disappointed that Republicans on the committee are blocking a few from moving forward,” the statement read. “I’m confident that when I return to the Senate, we will be able to move the remaining qualified nominees out of committee quickly and to the Senate floor for a vote.”
(Image: Screengrab/Senator Dianne Feinstein)
However, one thing was missing and it’s a big one: DiFi declined to give a date on when she will return, which may not be enough to quell the growing number of young upstarts in the House who have been trying to shove her out the door.
Feinstein’s update comes mere days after the Democratic Party’s ideological thought leader, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined the voices who have broken with the party’s lockstep discipline to demand her retirement.
AOC joined fellow “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) who also called for Feinstein to be put out to pasture. The progressive diva took to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s new social media platform Bluesky where she said that the struggling octogenarian “should retire. I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce.”
In a Bluesky AMA, @AOC says Dianne Feinstein should retire and that "criticisms of that stance as 'anti-feminist' are a farce.
Full response: pic.twitter.com/g6wnCzfmkP
— jordan (@JordanUhl) May 2, 2023
“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary – precisely where repro rights are getting stripped. That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees,” added Ocasio-Cortez.
Other than pledging her return at an unspecified future date, the bulk of Feinstein’s statement was devoted to smacking down the perception that her absenteeism has ground the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation progress to a halt.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to hold hearings on nominees and advance them out of committee, and the Senate continues to confirm judicial nominees on the floor,” the statement read. “The Senate has confirmed 21 district and circuit court nominees during Senator Feinstein’s absence, including seven this week.”
“Senator Feinstein’s absence does not prevent the committee from holding a hearing on any nominees,” according to her statement.
Whether it will be enough to keep Ocasio-Cortez at bay remains to be seen but the timing of the statement would seem to be a dead giveaway that she was spooked by the ambitious New Yorker.
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