Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday called for ailing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to resign, noting the senator’s monthslong absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee has stalled work there.
Feinstein “should retire,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Bluesky, a nascent social media platform.
“I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce,” she added, referencing comments from Feinstein defenders who argue that sexism ― not truancy ― is driving resignation calls.
“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary — precisely where repro rights are getting stripped,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.”
The California Democrat has been absent from the Senate since February, when a bout of shingles landed her in the hospital. She has said she’ll return as soon as her health allows. She has no plans to run for reelection in 2024, but has said she intends to finish serving her current term, which ends in January 2025.
A number of other progressives also have called on Feinstein to resign, including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who framed her absence as a “dereliction of duty.”
Phillips said “countless” other congressional lawmakers privately agree with him, but are afraid to say so publicly.