SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) is publicly calling on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to resign.
“It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to resign,” the progressive congressman wrote on Twitter. “We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty.”
Feinstein, who is the oldest member of the Senate, has been absent from the Senate since late February while she undergoes treatment for shingles. She has missed 58 votes in the Senate since coming down with the illness, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Feinstein’s representatives maintain that she continues to work from home in San Francisco. However, her absence, coupled with that of Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, has slowed progress of the Democratic agenda in the upper house, where Dems hold a narrow majority over Republicans.
Khanna, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, acknowledged Feinstein’s legacy in the Senate, while maintaining it was time for her to step aside.
“While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties,” he wrote. “Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”
KRON4 reached out to Khanna’s office for comment and received the following statement from the South Bay congressman:
“The ruling by an extremist judge in Texas has made it clear that Democrats must act with speed and urgency to confirm judicial nominees who will protect the right to an abortion. Senator Feinstein is unable to fulfill her duties and for the good of the people, she should resign.”
Feinstein’s office sent out this statement:
“When I was first diagnosed with shingles, I expected to return by the end of the March work period. Unfortunately, my return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis.
“I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel. In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco.
“I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee, so I’ve asked Leader Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve until I’m able to resume my committee work.”
Feinstein has already announced she will not be seeking reelection. Several Democratic reps, including Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee have all thrown their hats in the ring for Feinstein’s seat. On Wednesday, Republican attorney and former congressional candidate Eric Early also announced he was joining the race.
One representative who has not entered the race for Feinstein’s seat is Khanna. However, he has endorsed fellow progressive Lee and said he is co-chairing her campaign.