(NewsHill.org)- The oldest senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, was stricken with shingles during the Senate’s break earlier this month and was subsequently hospitalized.
She said Thursday afternoon that she is undergoing treatment in San Francisco and anticipate making a complete recovery. She said later this month; she plans to make her way back to the Senate.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard from Attorney General Merrick Garland, but Senator Feinstein, who will age 90 in June, was noticeably absent.
A representative for the senator stated early Thursday that he was in California “dealing with a health problem” but did not provide any details.
It was recently reported that California’s senior senator will not be running for reelection in 2024. For some years, she has been the subject of speculation and media attention about possibly decreasing her mental capacity.
As she put it last year, the real issue is whether I’m still a successful spokesperson for 40 million Californians, “The record demonstrates that I am,” she said defiantly.
Feinstein passed up the opportunity to become the Senate’s third-in-line to the President this year by declining to be considered for the president pro tempore post. As is customary, this position is given to the senator who has served the majority party the longest.
The Democrats’ 51-49 majority in the Senate has been weakened by Senator John Fetterman’s (Pa.) decision to seek treatment for mental depression.
Senator Feinstein has been involved in California politics for over half a century. It wasn’t until 1969 that she won her first election to the San Fran Board of Supervisors. After Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk were murdered in 1978, Feinstein took over as mayor. She has been a senator for longer than any other woman in U.S. history, having been initially elected in 1992.
If Feinstein resigned from her position before the end of her tenure, Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared he would select a Black woman to take her place. The senator brushed aside the notion that she would retire before 2024 on the day she declared she would not seek reelection.