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Sen. Jack Reed

POLITICS: Dem senator praises Feinstein’s ‘energy’ and ‘concentration’ despite slew of missed votes, absences

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Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed praised Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “energy and the concentration” despite calls from both sides of the aisle that the California Democrat should leave office over health concerns. 

“I think Sen. Feinstein has performed remarkably during her career. I think at this point, she has medical issues, she’s acknowledged those issues. She still is able to summon the energy and the concentration to come to vote,” Reed told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. 

A handful of Democrats, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ro Khanna, have called on Feinstein to retire in recent weeks, saying her absence from voting has hurt the party’s efforts to pass legislation and that she is unable to fulfill her duties. 

Feinstein announced in March she was diagnosed with a case of shingles and had been absent from senatorial duties for a three-month period. She returned to Capitol Hill on May 11, when she attended a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. 

SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN TELLS REPORTER ‘I HAVEN’T BEEN GONE’ AFTER THREE-MONTH MEDICAL ABSENCE: REPORT

Sen. Jack Reed joins “Fox News Sunday” on May 21, 2023. (FOX NEWS )

In her absence, Feinstein missed at least 93 votes between February and May, Fox News Digital previously reported. 

FEINSTEIN ARRIVES OVER AN HOUR LATE FOR JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEETING TO APPROVE DIVISIVE BIDEN JUDICIAL PICKS 

Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is shown arriving back at the U.S. Capitol after her absence from the chamber following a shingles diagnosis. (Chip Somodevilla, Kevin Dietsch, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

First elected in 1992, Feinstein is the longest-serving senator in California history and the longest-serving female senator in the nation’s history. She announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election in 2024, when her term is up.

Reed was reacting to video of Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who is running to replace Feinstein in the Senate, highlighting that Feinstein’s absence over health issues is not the first time Congress has had to cope with an absent lawmaker, citing Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman recently taking time off to receive health treatments. 

PENNSYLVANIA SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN HAS MISSED AN ALARMINGLY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF ROLL-CALL VOTES DUE TO ILLNESS

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein walks through the Senate subway on her way to a procedural vote at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 28, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I think she deserves the opportunity to make a decision about her career. I had the opportunity to serve with Strom Thurmond, who was 100 years old when he retired. And there were some people back then who were saying he should go, but not with the same kind of intensity today,” Reed said. 

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“Again, I think this is something that Sen. Feinstein should consider and make a decision,” he added. 



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