Where is Feinstein? Senator missing from votes, committee meeting despite return to Washington

Sen. Dianne Feinstein was missing from a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday, despite being widely welcomed back in to Washington on Wednesday after suffering health issues. Feinstein, who has been home in California and away from senatorial duties in Washington for months, returned to the city on Wednesday, but was not present for multiple votes that day or the beginning of a key nominations meeting Thursday. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said at the beginning of the meeting that he hoped she would arrive soon. “We have feelings of relief and support for our colleague Sen. Feinstein, who is returned to Washington. We know that she has been through some significant health challenges, and we all wish her the very best,” Durbin said. “We have a number of items on today’s agenda, including seven judicial nominees who had previously been held over. I intend to call them shortly, and if Senator Feinstein arrives we may be able to take up those additional nominees very quickly,” he added. DIANNE FEINSTEIN ANNOUNCES SHE WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2024 CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Durbin cast three votes from Feinstein as “aye by proxy” during the hearing. Feinstein’s office did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital on the senator’s whereabouts that were made Wednesday, as well as Thursday morning after the hearing began. The 89-year-old senator, assisted in a wheelchair, did make an appearance on the Senate floor on Wednesday to cast two votes, but she missed multiple votes earlier in the day. The total number of votes she has missed since her February diagnosis with shingles is at least 93. The large tally has prompted calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle for the veteran senator to retire. DIANNE FEINSTEIN ANNOUNCES SHE WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2024 “It’s time for [Feinstein] to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter. “While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has also called for the senator’s resignation as several judicial nominations remain pending in the Senate.  “Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary — precisely where [reproductive] rights are getting stripped,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview. “That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.” Feinstein explained during her Wednesday trip to the Capitol that her doctors had recommended a “lighter schedule” as she deals with the remaining symptoms of her shingles infection. CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP “Even though I’ve made significant progress and was able to return to Washington, I’m still experiencing some side effects from the shingles virus,” Feinstein said in a statement. “My doctors have advised me to work a lighter schedule as I return to the Senate. I’m hopeful those issues will subside as I continue to recover.” Feinstein, who took office in 1992 and is the longest-serving senator in California history, announced in February she would not seek re-election in 2024.
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