(CNN) Senate. Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday night that she had asked to be “temporarily” transferred to the Senate Judiciary Committee while she recovers from the shingles, but the California Democrat was determined to return to the Senate amid some pressure to leave her party.
“I understand that my absence could delay the important work of the Judiciary Committee, so I have asked Chairman Schumer to ask the Senate to allow another Democratic senator to serve temporarily until my committee resumes,” Feinstein, 89, said in a statement.
Feinstein said she had hoped to return to Washington “by the end of the March work term,” but added that “her return has been delayed due to continuing complications related to my diagnosis.” She plans to return, she said, “as soon as my medical team advises that it is safe for me to travel.”
The statement comes after a rare instance of a member of his own party urging him to quit the Congress. California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna called for his resignation earlier in the day — echoed by another House Democrat on Twitter.
“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. Put country before personal loyalty. After a lifetime of public service, it’s clear she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking up undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people,” Khanna said. Co-Chairman of Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee Propaganda To fill Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024, said on Twitter on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday night that “at Sen. Feinstein’s discretion, he will ask the Senate next week to allow another Democratic senator to temporarily serve on the Judiciary Committee.”
To replace him on the board, a resolution must be passed to name another member of the board. Typically, members are named to committees as part of an order-of-order resolution at the start of a new Senate session.
The process at the start of a new Congress is usually uneventful. The leaders agreed and the resolution was adopted unanimously.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin recently Credited to CNN Feinstein’s absence dampened the party’s push to confirm nominees.
Asked if his absence has long-term implications for Democrats’ ability to confirm nominees, the Illinois Democrat said, “Yes, of course it does,” pointing to the lengthy process of getting nominees on the ballot during precious time.
In early March, Feinstein said she was hospitalized and receiving treatment for shingles. On March 7, he tweeted that he was recovering at home as he continued to receive treatment and was looking forward to returning to the Senate “as soon as possible.”
Multiple sources told CNN earlier Wednesday that no specific date had been set for his return.
The senator announced in February that she Cannot contest re-electionAnd many Democrats have already launched campaigns for Feinstein’s seat in 2024.
California Democrats aren’t the only ones pondering the future of the seat without Feinstein. Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota, responded to Khanna’s tweet Wednesday, saying he agreed.
“Senator Feinstein is a remarkable American whose contributions to our country are immeasurable. But I believe it is a dereliction of duty to remain in the Senate now, and a dereliction of duty to those who agree to remain silent,” Phillips tweeted.
This topic and story has been updated with additional improvements.
CNN’s Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.