U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California dies at 90

By: - September 29, 2023 9:35 am

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial nominations on Capitol Hill on Sept. 6, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has died, according to multiple media reports.

The California Democrat was 90 and had announced in February she would not run for reelection in 2024.

Feinstein last voted early Thursday, but missed votes later in the day. Her death was first reported by Punchbowl News.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will pick her replacement until the 2024 election.

The House Rules Committee met Friday morning on a bill to temporarily fund the government to avoid a partial government shutdown. GOP Chair Tom Cole of Oklahoma held a moment of silence for the California senator. Government funding is set to expire Saturday at midnight.

The top Democrat on the committee, James McGovern of Massachusetts, praised Feinstein’s career, which began in the 1960s.

“She was a great leader, a great fighter for the rights of women, for all people in this country,” he said.

Feinstein, a longtime gun control advocate, was first elected to Congress in 1992. She served as the first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee.

In May, she returned to the Senate after suffering an extended case of shingles and using a wheelchair, among calls from some Democrats that she retire due to her poor health. She rejected that criticism. “I have returned to Washington and am prepared to resume my duties in the Senate,” she said at the time.

Her office did not respond to States Newsroom’s request for comment.

Members of Congress quickly took to social media to commend Feinstein for her work. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee gave their condolences on X, formerly Twitter.

“Senator Feinstein was a political pioneer with a historic career of public service,” Rubio wrote. “Intelligent, hard working & always treated everyone with courtesy & respect.”

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.