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While lawmakers were working to prevent a government shutdown that was rapidly approaching, many members of Congress took a moment Friday to mourn. Both sides of the political spectrum expressed their sorrow at the passing of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
The Senate and House paused their proceedings as the leaders paid tribute to Feinstein. Her death was announced on Friday morning. She was 90. As a vase of roses sat on Feinstein’s chair, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer listed Feinstein’s legislative achievements: the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban; reauthorizing of the Violence Against Women Act; and her advocacy for marriage equality and climate injustice. Schumer stated that when asked how she votes on something, Feinstein replied, “I’ll study the issue before I take a stand.” “And she returned — if she believed the cause of this vote was right and crucial to many issues that she cared about – she not only voted in favor, but there was nothing stopping her from getting it done.”
Schumer led a moment’s silence in the Senate for Sen. Dianne (D-CA), the late senator who died last night. Her Senate desk has a black cloth draped over it with a white bowl of flowers. RIP. Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan).
In House, House Rules Committee chair Tom Cole, R-Okla. interrupted a meeting to announce her death. “I know that many of us have had the chance to work with her and I’m sure we all, from both sides, respected her,” said Tom Cole as he called for silence. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (a Republican from California) recalled working on water legislation with Feinstein during the record-breaking California drought of mid-2010s. “I remember all the long hours and nights we spent trying to overcome the obstacles. He told reporters in the Capitol that despite coming from different political parties and having different ideologies, “we put our state before everything else.”
Feinstein was a senator for over 30 years. She was the first woman ever to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee and she served as the longest serving woman senator in the history of the Senate.
President Biden who served with Feinstein for more than[she would say]15years in the Senate, paid tribute at an event held at Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. Dianne’s impact on national security, gun safety, civil liberties, and the environment was immense. “The country, Jill, and I will miss her deeply,” he said.
Flags were lowered at half-staff over the U.S. Capitol, as well as flags on city buildings in Los Angeles, Feinstein’s native state of California. “Senator Feinstein is a trailblazer, on whose shoulders women elected officials in America and I will stand forever,” said Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass. pic.twitter.com/tKWmXc1N4o
California Gov. Gavin Newsom thanked Feinstein for her service in their hometown, San Francisco, and to the state of California, where they both served as mayors. “She broke down glass ceilings and barriers, but she never lost faith in the spirit political cooperation.” Newsom stated that she was a fighter for her city, state and country. September 29, 2023