A pair of Democratic U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday became the first members of their party in Congress to urge Sen. Dianne Feinstein to resign, as a deadlocked Senate Judiciary Committee remains unable to confirm President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees during her prolonged absence.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) was the first to call on 89-year-old Feinstein—who has missed 60 of the Senate’s 82 votes so far this year—to step down.
“It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Khanna tweeted. “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.”
I agree with @RoKhanna. Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet. https://t.co/lvaHhLJYsi
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) April 12, 2023
Less than an hour later, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) tweeted his agreement with Khanna, arguing that “it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet.”
Calls for the resignation of Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in a 1992 special election, have been growing lately as her absence from the judiciary committee—which is deadlocked 10-10—is impeding her party’s ability to confirm judges.
According to the American Constitution Society, 12 of Biden’s judicial nominees are currently awaiting judiciary committee votes, while six others have not yet had hearings.
Feinstein says she’ll leave office in January 2025. California Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff are leading contenders for her seat.