Over 60 California liberal groups have sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein asking her to resign.
The groups are concerned that 89-year-old Sen. Feinstein’s lengthy medical absence prevents Democrats from passing President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Organizations that signed the letter include various Indivisible chapters, Activate America, Berkeley Now, Change begins with ME, Democracy Action Marin, Feminists in Action Los Angeles, and Generation Blue. Combined, they claim to represent 101,034 of Feinstein’s constituents.
The letter began by referring to Feinstein as a “Senate icon” and thanked her for her “exemplary service” before asking for her to hit the road.
“But now, complications from your illness threaten this storied legacy,” the letter said. “Your absences hobble the elected Democratic Senate majority from doing the work of the people of California and our nation. Therefore, at this key moment and with great respect and affection, we ask that you resign from the Senate to focus on your health. Please allow Governor Newsom to appoint an interim Senator who can provide robust and constant representation for California through the election of 2024.”
“So much is at stake, especially for women and marginalized groups whose rights are under attack,” the organization’s continued. “Scores of Biden-nominated judges await confirmation. We must tap every possible vote in the Senate to contain the larger Republican threat to freedom and liberty in our country. Sadly, your Republican colleagues have rejected traditional approval processes, instead seeking to gain unfair leverage from your ill health. This impasse is not in the best interest of California or the nation.”
The letter continued, “Time is short. For three decades, 39 million Californians counted on you to be our hardworking voice in Washington, day in and day out. We still need a daily voice, now more than ever. We respectfully ask you to give one more gift of service to our great state by fully stepping back to allow a new appointee to carry forth and extend your legacy.”
On Tuesday, Republicans blocked an effort by the Democrats to replace Feinstein with Sen. Ben Cardin on the Judiciary Committee until when, and if, she returns.
Feinstein has been absent from Capitol Hill for months after being hospitalized with shingles in February while the Senate was in recess.
The nearly-90-year-old politician has not provided a timeline for her return.
Pressuring the lawmaker to put in her resignation has become a contentious issue among Democrat politicians.
Rep. Ted Lieu, also representing California, stated, “In America, we don’t tell people to resign because they got shingles.”
However, Rep. Ro Khanna has been leading the charge calling for her to step aside.
“Senator Feinstein’s staff rushed out her statement two hours after my tweet to stop the bleeding and halt the growing chorus for her to resign. It worked for a few days but didn’t solve the problem as many of us had warned,” Khanna told NBC News. “The ball is now back in Senator Feinstein’s court to provide a specific timeline of when she can cast votes on Judiciary to confirm President Biden’s judges.”
“Every day she is not on Judiciary is hurting our ability to confirm another judge who will protect women’s rights and voting rights. I hope more will choose democracy over decorum and speak out about what is painfully obvious,” Khanna added. “It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step aside to have a dignified conclusion to her public service career.”