(LibertySociety.com) – Since returning to Washington D.C. after being absent from the Senate since early March, Senator Dianne Feinstein has been seemingly unavailable to speak to the press after her first interaction with them left many wondering if she is capable of fulfilling her duties. The senator recently told a reporter “I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working,” adding, “No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting,” when asked if she was referring to her work from home during her absence.
According to a piece from The Los Angeles Times, photographer Kent Nishimura said last week that the press was having trouble getting close enough to Senator Feinstein to ask her important questions or take photographs of her. He indicated that her staff and the Capitol Police have been creating shields between the senator and the press, transporting her to and from the Capitol in areas where the press is not allowed. The Sergeant at Arms told the press on two separate occasions that they would not be provided access to question her as she arrived at the Capitol. Nishimura claimed that he and journalists were rushed out of non-restricted, public areas to accommodate Senator Feinstein.
Although most medical updates from Senator Feinstein and her staff during her absence referenced complications from her case of shingles, it was only recently reported that she experienced brain swelling and acquired Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which affects a nerve in the face. Feinstein was initially hospitalized but spent most of her recovery at home, where she previously claimed to be working from.
The senator has participated in several votes to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees since returning, which have been held up in the Judiciary Committee since March 2023. Most lawmakers have expressed confidence in Senator Feinstein’s ability to remain in the Senate until she retires in January 2025, but California Representative Ro Khanna believes she should resign and let California Governor Gavin Newsom make an appointment to fill her seat until a new Senator is elected in 2024.
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