Feinstein returning to Senate after prolonged absence due to illness
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is expected to return to the Senate this week, her spokesperson Adam Russell told Axios.
Why it matters: The development caps off a more than two-month absence by the 89-year-old senator following her hospitalization for shingles in March.
What they’re saying: Feinstein plans to be back in the Senate either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on her flight to Washington, D.C., Russell added.
- The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the development.
- The Senate plans to vote at 5:30pm on Tuesday.
The big picture: Feinstein's extended sojourn in California prompted a reckoning in Congress over her ability and that of other elderly lawmakers to serve and the treatment of older female members.
- Some of her Republican women colleagues came to her defense, alleging sexism and ageism in the calls for her resignation.
Context: Feinstein missed nearly 100 floor votes and denied Democrats a key vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, hamstringing their ability to issue subpoenas and confirm more controversial judicial nominations.
- Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' attempt to temporarily swap her out for Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on the panel.
- Several younger and progressive House Democrats, angered by this dynamic, called for Feinstein to resign rather than serve out the remainder of her term.
What they're saying: "I’m glad that my friend Dianne is back in the Senate and ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) 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.”
Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.