Dianne Feinstein's temporary Senate Judiciary replacement faces GOP roadblock

Washington DC - The drama around Senator Dianne Feinstein's long absence from Congress is amping up after Republicans on Monday signaled their intent to block a temporary Judiciary Committee replacement.

Senator Dianne Feinstein has been absent from Capitol Hill since March, when she was diagnosed with shingles.
Senator Dianne Feinstein has been absent from Capitol Hill since March, when she was diagnosed with shingles.  © REUTERS

Republicans on Monday made clear their opposition to naming a temporary replacement for Feinstein on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.

The senator's continued absence from Congress has stalled the advancement of more than a dozen Biden judicial nominees out of the now-deadlocked panel.

At least five Republican members of the committee, including Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and John Cornyn of Texas, have said they will not back efforts to replace Feinstein.

Former Trump aide says Melania has her husband "quite worried" over hush money trial
Melania Trump Former Trump aide says Melania has her husband "quite worried" over hush money trial

"I, for one, am not going to help President Biden’s most unqualified nominees to get confirmed. I don’t think you’ll see us help in that effort," Cornyn said, according to The Hill.

"I will vote against any attempt by Senate Democrats to temporarily replace Sen. Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee," Tillis added on Twitter. "I deeply respect Senator Feinstein, but this is an unprecedented request solely intended to appease those pushing for radical, activist judges."

Dianne Feinstein faces scrutiny within her own party over long absence

A timeline for Dianne Feinstein's return to Congress remains uncertain.
A timeline for Dianne Feinstein's return to Congress remains uncertain.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

A move to replace the 89-year-old California Democrat must win support from all 50 Senate Democrats and at least 10 Republicans in order to go forward – a feat that is looking increasingly unlikely.

Feinstein herself asked for the replacement after facing calls for her resignation from fellow Democrats in Congress. She has been away from Capitol Hill since March, when she was diagnosed with shingles.

So far, Feinstein has not released a timeline of her return to Congress, though she has said she is working from home in San Francisco and hopes to be back in Washington as soon as possible.

Biden says an Iranian retaliation to Israel's bombing of embassy compound is imminent
Joe Biden Biden says an Iranian retaliation to Israel's bombing of embassy compound is imminent

First elected in 1992, the six-term Democrat has been in office for more than three decades. She has refused to step down from her current term early, but has said she will not run for reelection in 2024.

California Representatives Katie Porter, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee have already announced bids for her Senate seat.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Politicians: