A coalition of more than 60 progressive grassroots groups claiming to represent more than 100,000 Californians sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asking her to resign.
The coalition, which includes progressive groups from around the state, argue Feinstein’s extended absence from the Senate has held up President Biden’s agenda in the chamber.
“Complications from your illness threaten [your] storied legacy. Your absences hobble the elected Democratic Senate majority from doing the work of the people of California and our nation,” the groups wrote.
“We ask that you resign from the Senate to focus on your health. Please allow Gov. [Gavin] Newsom to appoint an interim senator who can provide robust and constant representation for California though the election of 2024,” they wrote.
The signatories include Activate America, Berkeley Now, Change begins with ME, Democracy Action Marin, Feminists in Action Los Angeles, Generation Blue, and chapters of Indivisible from around the state.
Feinstein has missed Senate votes since being diagnosed with shingles during the Presidents Day recess in February.
Her absence is felt most acutely on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which remains deadlocked 10-10 on divisive issues that split Democrats and Republicans.
With full attendance, Democrats would control an 11-10 majority on the Judiciary Committee.
Senate Republicans this week blocked a motion by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to allow Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) to fill in temporarily for Feinstein on the committee.
The lack of an effective majority also prevents Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) from subpoenaing witnesses to discuss the Supreme Court’s ethics rules and reports that conservative Justice Clarence Thomas accepted travel and other favors from Texas billionaire Harlan Crow without disclosing them on publicly available forms.