White House Blasts Republicans For Blocking Dianne Feinstein's Committee Replacement

“It is flat wrong to seek partisan advantage from health issues of a colleague,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said it was “flat wrong” for Republicans to block ailing Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) request to be temporarily replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee as she continues recovering from shingles.

Feinstein, 89, has pledged to return to Washington once her doctors approve. She was hospitalized for two weeks in February and has been absent from the Senate since, raising concerns within her party that the Judiciary Committee won’t be able to approve President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees, thus holding back Democratic priorities like abortion rights. Many progressives are calling on her to retire early.

Republicans are not helping.

“Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporary absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who returned to work this week after recovering from a fall.

Jean-Pierre blasted Republicans for not granting Feinstein’s “reasonable” request.

“It is flat wrong to seek partisan advantage from health issues of a colleague,” she said. “The American people reject that kind of scorched-earth type of behavior or approach to governing.”

Jean-Pierre added that Feinstein should be given the respect to decide her next steps.

“When it comes to the future, her future, that is something that she gets to make and should be allowed to do that,” Jean-Pierre said.

But some Democrats disagree. Rep. Ro Khanna (R-Calif.) said Feinstein should resign out of respect for the American people.

“If you’re gonna sign up to do these jobs, show up,” Khanna told “Fox News Sunday.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday told CNN it would be “appropriate” for Feinstein to consider stepping down.

Feinstein has said she won’t seek reelection, but intends to serve out her current term, which ends in January 2025. If she were to step down sooner, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would appoint a replacement.

Several prominent Democrats have already announced campaigns for the 2024 election for Feinstein’s seat, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.

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