Updated May 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Feinstein returning to Senate after prolonged absence due to illness

Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

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.

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.

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