Politics

Request to fill Sen. Feinstein's committee seat stalls in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed that Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin fill Sen. Feinstein's seat.

Request to fill Sen. Feinstein's committee seat stalls in Senate
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans in the Senate have blocked a request to temporarily replace California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 89-year-old Feinstein hasn't worked on the Senate floor since February, when she was hospitalized with a case of shingles. She indicated she wanted a temporary replacement while she recovered.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday tried to get unanimous consent to assign Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to the seat for the interim, but GOP members have pushed back on what they worry is an attempt to get speedy approval to seat partisan judges.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, objected to Schumer's motion. He said Democrats would try to "change the numbers on the committee in a way that I think would be harmful to the Senate, and to pass out a handful of judges that I think should never be on the bench."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Concerns rise over Sen. Feinstein's lengthy absence from Congress

Feinstein already announced she will not run for reelection next year. But some prominent Democrats have called on her to leave office before then.

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In the meantime, Feinstein's absence and the delays it's caused to Senate business have led to some calls from inside her own party to step down permanently.

Feinstein has said she does not intend to run for reelection. Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee have all indicated they will run for her seat.

Additional reporting from The Associated Press.