Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the 90-year-old lawmaker, has come under intense scrutiny as concerns grow over her mental fitness and ability to do her job. Her latest absence from a planned appearance at the 150th anniversary celebration of San Francisco’s cable cars has only stoked the flames of controversy. Feinstein’s spokesperson, Ron Eckstein, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the senator missed the event due to her health, citing a cough. However, reports suggest that her health is in steady decline, with colleagues raising concerns over her ability to carry out her duties.
Feinstein recently returned to the Senate in a wheelchair after receiving treatment for shingles, during which time her absence raised more questions about her physical and mental fitness. Concerns were heightened following her recent appearance when she appeared to get confused and began to deliver a speech during a vote on Capitol Hill.
Asked to vote on the defense appropriations bill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) begins giving a speech: “I would like to support a ‘yes’ vote on this. It provides …”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA): “Just say aye.” pic.twitter.com/Gw2eZ9rEMv
— The Recount (@therecount) July 27, 2023
Despite Feinstein’s announcement that she will not seek re-election in 2024, prominent House Democrats, Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee, have announced their campaigns to replace her in the Senate. However, the situation is further complicated by the fact that some of Feinstein’s fellow Democrats have called on her to step down before her term ends. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), for example, has said that he hopes Feinstein will be able to fulfill her duties, though he believes that she should step down if she is unable to perform her job adequately.
House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), nevertheless, insisted that Feinstein was “good … she’s doing her job,” as reported by the Chronicle. Pelosi also praised Feinstein’s support for the city’s cable cars when she was mayor of San Francisco, stating that “It’s a tribute to her that we wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t made that strong step to save the cable cars. She’s present in so many ways.”
However, with the senator’s health deteriorating and her colleagues expressing concern over her ability to perform her duties, the situation is becoming increasingly alarming. The future of California’s representation in the Senate is uncertain, and it is clear that Feinstein’s time in politics may be coming to an end. The question is, will she step down on her own terms, or will she have to be forced out? Further developments in this rapidly unfolding situation are eagerly awaited by those concerned about the state of the Senate and Feinstein’s role in it.