Schumer Welcomes Feinstein Back to Senate after Months-Long Absence

May 10, 2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday welcomed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) back to Capitol Hill.

The oldest U.S. Senator, 89-year-old Feinstein had been on medical leave since early March recovering from shingles.

“On a happy note, I join my fellow Senators in welcoming back our dear friend and esteemed colleague, Dianne Feinstein,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “It’s so good to see her back here in the Senate, ready to get back to work.”

He added that he’d been in touch with her over the past few weeks, “and I can report she’s exactly where she wants to be—ready to do the things she loves most, serving the people of California.”

Feinstein had been under pressure to return—and also faced calls from some House Democrats to retire—as Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) had acknowledged that her absence had slowed down Democrats’ efforts to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees in the otherwise evenly-split committee between Democrats and Republicans.

Despite officially having returned to Washington, Feinstein was not present for the first Senate vote series on Wednesday. And Durbin told CNN that he didn’t know when she would return to the actual Senate chamber, adding, “I hope she comes back soon.”

PHOTO: Feinstein in January

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