Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t in Washington, D.C., this week because of a “health problem,” according to a representative for the outgoing California senator.
Even though Feinstein, 89, said the previous month that she won’t run for office again in 2018, her present term still has over 2 years to run.
The senator is in California this week to discuss a health issue, according to a Feinstein official. She plans to revisit Washington shortly.
This week, Feinstein has already skipped several votes. Her spokeswoman remained quiet about the nature of the health issue or when she may come back. Feinstein’s absence was first reported by NBC News.
She is not the only Democratic senator out of Washington due to health concerns. Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat, is receiving therapy for mental depression. Bob Casey, a senator from Pennsylvania, suffered prostate cancer surgery in the middle of February, but he is now back at work. Vice President Kamala Harris needed to break several ties this week due to Fetterman and Feinstein’s unavailability.
With 2 senators missing, Democrats find it highly challenging to advance important legislation or confirm nominees across party lines.
Tuesday, Olivia Dalton, the principal deputy press secretary for the White House, refused to directly address if the administration was concerned that Fetterman’s absence might prevent Julie Su, President Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Labor, from being confirmed.