Senator Dianne Feinstein told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday that she hopes to return to Washington next week.
The Democratic Senator from California has been missing from the Senate since early March as a result of being hospitalized for shingles. Feinstein is retiring at the end of this year. Some Democrats lack a vital vote in the chamber and on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a result of the 89-year-old’s ongoing absence. Attempts by Democrats to temporarily replace Feinstein on the Judiciary panel were blocked by Senate Republicans last month. Some Democrats in Congress have publicly urged Feinstein to step down before the end of her term so that a replacement can be chosen.
When Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated the nation could exceed the debt ceiling by June 1, the potential impact of her lost vote assumed a new sense of urgency.
There are already a number of Democratic members of Congress from California vying for Feinstein’s seat, including Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee.