Democratic Senate majority at risk as Dianne Feinstein, 89, hospitalized
Senate Democratic majority at risk as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, hospitalized with shingles — weeks after John Fetterman was also hospitalized with clinical depression
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (pictured) of California was hospitalized in recent days with shingles and is currently being treated in her hometown of San Francisco, her office announced Thursday. Feinstein missed a key vote on Wednesday when the Senate voted 50-46 to block a Biden administration rule allowing pension fund managers to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. She also missed a couple of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
“During the February break, I was diagnosed with shingles. I was hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and am awaiting a full recovery. I hope to return to the Senate later this month,” she said through her spokesperson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. News of Feinstein’s hospitalization comes weeks after it was announced that she was ending her long and consequential political career. career There was some confusion when Feinstein told reporters that she was unaware her staff had sent out a statement making that statement.
She stepped down from her crucial role as chair of the Judiciary Committee after multiple reports that she had trouble remembering details about personnel and legislation. Some Democrats also resented her handling of the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Shingles is a virus — the same one that causes chickenpox — that can lead to a painful rash with blisters. It is not considered life-threatening, but is usually very painful. She was first elected in 1992 (pictured) and is currently the oldest female senator.
Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman (pictured) also missed the vote this week as he continues treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Their absence points to the fragility of the Senate’s narrow 51-49 Democratic majority (which includes three independent candidates running in caucuses). Pictured: San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein in her office on December 11, 1978.
Although she gave up her seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats hold only an 11-10 majority on that panel, where a minority can slow down a nomination if the membership is evenly split. Pictured: Feinstein at San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California on September 28, 1971.
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