Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined a small but growing chorus of Democrats in Congress publicly saying Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) should retire.
The high-profile congresswoman, who is also known as “AOC” for short, shared her view on the Bluesky social media app, raising concerns about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s struggle to advance judicial nominees with Feinstein away from Capitol Hill for so long while contending with health issues.
Feinstein “should retire. I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a post. “Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary — precisely where [reproductive] rights are getting stripped. That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.”
In a Bluesky AMA, @AOC says Dianne Feinstein should retire and that “criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce.
Full response: pic.twitter.com/g6wnCzfmkP
— jordan (@JordanUhl) May 2, 2023
At the age of 89, Feinstein is the Senate’s oldest member, and in recent years, some colleagues have raised concerns about her mental fitness. Feinstein announced in February she would not seek re-election in 2024. Three prominent House Democrats — Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee — have announced campaigns to replace Feinstein in the Senate.
In early March, Feinstein announced she had been hospitalized in San Francisco after being diagnosed with a case of shingles. Though Feinstein said she hoped to return to the Senate by the end of the month, that didn’t happen, leading to calls by some Democrats for her to step down.
Among those who have fired back at the demands for Feinstein to resign is former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who suggested such talk is rooted in sexism. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), one of the Democrats who urged Feinstein to resign, dismissed the gender-focused rebuttal by saying the issue “has nothing to do with gender,” but rather about officials doing the jobs they were elected to do.
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Feinstein spox: “Sen. Feinstein continues to make progress in her recovery..we don’t have a timeline yet for her return to Washington which is dependent on her medical team saying it is safe to travel”
Schumer ‘hopeful’ she will return next week, per Francis Chung/@politico photo pic.twitter.com/ytCMC9wNBn
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 2, 2023
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has stuck by Feinstein, even after Republicans blocked a bid to replace her on the Judiciary Committee last month. A photo captured by a POLITICO photographer showed that Schumer held notes on Tuesday that said he and Feinstein were “hopeful” that Feinstein could return next week.
CNN’s Manu Raju shared that a Feinstein spokesperson said: “Sen. Feinstein continues to make progress in her recovery … we don’t have a timeline yet for her return to Washington which is dependent on her medical team saying it is safe to travel.”