Pelosi on calls for Feinstein to resign: ‘I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate’

Pelosi on calls for Feinstein to resign: ‘I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate’

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former Speaker, questioned calls for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to step down over her health, arguing that she has never seen a man in that position face similar calls.

“It’s interesting to me. I don’t know what political agendas are at work that are going after Sen. Feinstein in that way. I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way,” Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

Two House Democrats, Reps. Ro Khanna (Calif.) and Dean Phillips (Minn.), have called on Feinstein to resign because of her prolonged absence from the Senate due to her health.

Khanna was the first to call on the 89-year-old to step down before her term ends in 2025.

“While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties,” Khanna said on Twitter.

“Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I believe it’s now a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate and a dereliction of duty for those who agree to remain quiet,” Phillips said.

Feinstein responded to the calls Wednesday by announcing that the Senate should appoint a temporary replacement to her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee while her return to Washington, D.C., is delayed because of health complications.

Feinstein has been absent from the Senate since she was diagnosed with shingles in February. Her absence from the Judiciary Committee has prevented Democrats from advancing partisan nominees through committee to receive a full vote on the Senate floor.

She has already announced that she would not run for reelection in 2024 for a sixth full term in her seat. Several prominent California Democrats have jumped into the race to replace her.

Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee have all declared their candidacies. Khanna was rumored to be considering his own run but announced last month that he would not run and endorsed Lee for the seat instead.

Pelosi, who has backed Schiff in the contest, said Feinstein has been a “champion” for California during her career. She also said she has seen “up close and firsthand” the senator’s work for the country and the state.

“She deserves the respect to get well and be back on duty,” Pelosi added.

Rep. Norma Torres, another California Democrat, tweeted her wishes for Feinstein to improve and also argued a double standard exists between men and women.

“When women age or get sick, the men are quick to push them aside. When men age or get sick, they get a promotion,” she said.

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