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Monday, April 15, 2024

‘Just Say Aye’: Feinstein Forgets How to Vote During Awkward Senate Proceeding

(Headline USASen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had to be reminded by an aide how to vote during a congressional proceeding this week.

The awkward moment came during a roll call vote in a Senate Appropriations Committee, when Feinstein began speaking instead of voting “aye” or “nay.” She appeared to be reading from prepared remarks.

“I would like to support a ‘yes’ vote on this. It provides $823 billion …” she began, before being interrupted by committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“Say aye,” Murray told Feinstein.

But Feinstein continued speaking, “…that’s an increase of $26 billion for the Department of Defense and it funds priorities submitted…” Finally, one of Feinstein’s aides interrupted her, whispering to “just say aye.”

“Ok, aye,” Feinstein said.

The 90-year-old Democrat has faced numerous questions about her health over the past year, including from members of her own party. She was hospitalized in February while battling shingles and was absent from the chamber for months.

When she returned in May, her physical and mental decline became even more apparent. At one point in June, she appeared confused when asked about her time away from the Senate and insisted that she had not left.

“No, I haven’t been gone. You should follow the – I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working,” Feinstein claimed.

Feinstein also appeared confused by Vice President Kamala Harris, who was presiding over the Senate at the time.

“What is she doing here,” she asked her aides.

Feinstein has said she will not run for another term in 2024 and will retire once her term ends in January 2025.

Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee have already announced their campaigns for Feinstein’s Senate seat. According to a confidant of the Pelosi family cited by Politico, the prevailing political strategy is to keep Feinstein in the Senate “as long as possible” to benefit Schiff’s campaign.

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