Fifth House Democrat calls on Feinstein to resign
A fifth House Democrat on Friday called for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to resign her seat after her return to Washington following a prolonged absence due to shingles.
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) argued lawmakers should resign if they become “a shadow of your former self.”
“I think if you’re a member, and you become a shadow of your former self, you should resign,” Torres told Insider this week, calling for Feinstein to step aside for the first time. “Once you’re no longer the best person to represent your state, you have a duty to move on.”
Torres joins Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) in calling for Feinstein to leave the upper chamber.
Feinstein, 89, has had a distinguished 30-year career in the Senate but in recent years has come under scrutiny for her mental acuity and, in the past couple of months, her ability to fulfill her senatorial duties.
The New York Times reported recently that on top of shingles, Feinstein suffered from complications that include encephalitis, a swelling of the brain that can cause memory problems, increased confusion and trouble walking, among other things.
Feinstein returned to the Capitol earlier this month looking frailer than ever and has needed a wheelchair to get around the Senate. At one point, she seemed to forget that she had been away from Washington while speaking to reporters shortly after her return.
Her office said in a statement upon her return that her doctors have recommended she keep a light schedule as she continues to recover.
The California Democrat has steadfastly refused to step down, with other prominent Democrats siding with her, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Feinstein announced in February that she would retire at the end of her term.
A Feinstein spokesperson declined to immediately comment on Torres’s remarks.