After taking nearly three months to recover from shingles, 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) returned to work on Tuesday, returning the Senate majority to the Democrats.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 89

In February, Feinstein was hospitalized with shingles and her absence in the Senate prompted members of her own party to call for her resignation.

By mid-April, Feinstein made an unusual request as she continued through her lengthy recovery. The California Democrat asked that she be temporarily replaced on the Judiciary Committee.

This request was immediately rejected by Republicans who argued that the Democrats only wanted to put someone in Feinstein’s place so they could push through partisan judicial nominations.

After Feinstein’s request for a temporary replacement was rejected, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) all called on Feinstein to resign since she was unable to carry out her congressional duties and missed almost 100 floor votes during her absence.

Feinstein, however, argued that there has not been a slowdown. In a statement earlier this month, Feinstein reported that the “Senate continues to swiftly confirm highly qualified individuals to the federal judiciary, including seven more judicial nominees who were confirmed this week.”

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After news broke of Feinstein’s return to the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he is “glad” to have Feinstein back in the Senate and “ready to roll up her sleeves and get back to work.”

“After talking with her multiple times over the past few weeks, it’s clear she’s back where she wants to be and ready to deliver for California,” said Schumer.

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As the oldest sitting Senator, Feinstein has faced significant scrutiny over her mental and physical health.

Feinstein has already confirmed that she will not seek re-election in 2024.

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