Feinstein Returns to Senate, Plans to Keep Lighter Schedule

Democrat cast her first vote since February
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 7:50 PM CDT
Feinstein Returns to Senate, Plans to Keep Lighter Schedule
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is helped to a wheelchair by staff and greeted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, far right, as she returns to the Capitol on Wednesday after a two-month absence.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

For the first time since Feb. 16, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein cast a vote in the Senate. Feinstein, who has been absent because of health issues, returned to the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, greeted at her car outside by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, NBC News reports. She did not answer questions but said she'll be working a lighter schedule, on her doctors' advice. "I'm still experiencing some side effects from the shingles virus," said Feinstein, 89, who used a wheelchair to get around the Capitol on Wednesday.

Democrats need her vote to push President Biden's judicial nominees to the full Senate that have been stuck in committee because Feinstein was gone. She'd asked to be temporarily replaced by another Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, but Republicans blocked the proposal. With a lighter schedule and remaining health problems, it's not clear Feinstein will make every committee and Senate vote, per the AP. When she's present, Democrats hold an 11-10 edge on the committee. Feinstein, the oldest senator, has said she intends to retire after next year. (Read more Dianne Feinstein stories.)

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