(INSIDE CALIFORNIA POLITICS) — Rep. Ro Khanna continues his call for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to resign following the refusal of Senate Republicans to allow her to be temporarily replaced on a key Senate committee.
Sen. Feinstein has been away from the Senate since February while she recovers from a shingles diagnosis. Her absence has created a roadblock for Democrats’ efforts to appoint federal judges.
“Sen. Feinstein has basically missed 75 percent of her votes this year,” Khanna said to Inside California Politics. “This at a time when women’s rights and voting rights are under assault. She’s simply unable to do her duty on a very important committee, the judiciary committee, at a time when we need her.”
If Feinstein were to resign, Gov. Gavin Newsom would need to appoint a replacement, a potentially problematic situation given that at least three California lawmakers are currently campaigning to succeed Feinstein at the end of her term in January 2025.
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Khanna, who is co-chairing Rep. Barabra Lee’s run for Senate, offered up a suggestion to Newsom for how to avoid creating a political headache.
“My recommendation to the governor would be to appoint a caretaker who will commit to not running in 2024 and to not tip the scales of the 2024 race,” Khanna said. “I’ve been pretty public about that and I anticipate that the governor would consider that very seriously.”
Khanna suggested other Democrats have not called for Feinstein’s resignation out of respect for the long-time senator.
“[T]he reality is in Washington you’re supposed to have decorum to long-standing people in power,” Khanna said. “But I just think the American people are tired of that. They understand that the system is broken and they want people who are going to speak the truth even if at risk to their own careers…. I think I’m just saying something that many people recognize privately.”