Some Democrats have been calling on California Senator Dianne Feinstein to step down from her post due to concerns about her health and mental capacity, and a new report is suggesting that their fears might be coming true.
The New York Times published a report recently that said that Feinstein expressed to people close to her that she was confused as to why Vice President Kamala Harris came to the Senate to preside over a tie-breaking vote. Of course, as vice president, Harris is the president of the Senate and, therefore, casts any necessary tie-breaking vote.
The report that The Times issued detailed the many difficulties that the lawmaker, who is suffering from many maladies, is facing as she is insisting on finishing out her current term in the Senate.
Feinstein, who is 89 years old, just returned to work after missing a few weeks due to shingles as well as encephalitis that she suffered from earlier in the year. While she was out, many judicial nominees put forth by President Joe Biden were unable to move forward, as the Judiciary Committee was deadlocked.
There have been reports that Feinstein has had trouble with her memory for more than a year now, according to The Times report. The specific example they cited in regard to Harris casting a tie-breaking vote was a very clear indication that she may not be fit to serve any more, even though she has vowed not to step down before her term ends in early 2024.
The Times report cited “a person who witnessed the scene” in saying that the California Democratic senator was very confused when the vice president made her way to the Senate chamber at one point last year to cast one of the many tie-breaking votes she’s had to cast during the Biden administration.
The report from The Times said that Feinstein asked one of her colleagues, “What is she doing here?”
For any senator, there should be no question about what Harris was doing in the Senate, of course. Yet, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Feinstein has had trouble for quite some time now recalling even the basics of how the Senate operates. That’s a pretty scary thing to think about, especially from the Democratic standpoint.
Feinstein missed a few months of service earlier this year to deal with various illnesses. Upon her return not long ago, she has appeared much frailer than she has in the past, people close to her have said. She’s also apparently relying more on her staff members to help her get through the day-to-day requirements of her job, according to media outlet The Hill.
In February, among many calls from Democrats to resign, Feinsten said she wouldn’t be seeking re-election next year. However, she did say that she wouldn’t step down from her current post and would instead ride out the remainder of her term.
While the public calls for Feinstein to resign have died down now that she’s back in work, this Times report may reignite those calls in the near future.