Update: In a Tuesday press scrum, it appeared that Feinstein was unaware of the press release that announced her retirement. When asked about it by Matt Laslo of Raw Story, the senator said, “Oh, no. I’m not announcing anything.” She was then told about the press release, saying, “It is what it is. I think the time has come.”
The release has not been taken down from her website, nor her Twitter account.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, announced she would not run for reelection in 2024, effectively signaling retirement.
The announcement was made Tuesday, with Feinstein stating her intention to pass bills to “improve lives,” before her retirement.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said. “Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives.” [Full text below]
Feinstein, who served as part of the Democratic Party for the past 30 years, was one of the first women elected to the senate, in conjunction with Sen. Barbara Boxer in 1992.
The Calif. senator would go on to be the first woman appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which she is still apart of to this day, leading the subcommittee on human rights and the law, as chair.
She is also the current chair for water and energy development, as part of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Before being elected to the U.S. Senate, Feinstein served as Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. In 1990, Feinstein ran for Governor of California, falling short against Sen. Pete Wilson.
After Feinstein’s announcement, Tuesday, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom put out a statement congratulating the senator and commending her for her work in representing the state of California.
“Senator Feinstein has been a powerful champion for California and California values on the national stage for three decades – changing lives across our state and nation for the better while opening doors for generations of women leaders.
“A daughter of San Francisco, Senator Feinstein became the first woman to serve as mayor of the city after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. The tragic events of that day led to her lifetime crusade for common-sense gun control laws, including her role as author of a federal assault weapons ban. For the last 30 years, she has served her state with distinction as our senior U.S. Senator, blazing a trail for a new generation of female lawmakers.
“Throughout her career, Senator Feinstein has worked tirelessly across the aisle to advance tremendous progress on priorities that matter deeply to Americans. Her lifetime of service and leadership has made our country fairer, safer and stronger, and I am proud to call her a mentor and a friend. California and the nation owe Senator Feinstein a deep debt of gratitude.”
Feinstein plans to serve the rest of her term through 2024, ending her run as the longest-serving woman senator in U.S. history.
Full Text of Sen. Feinstein’s Statement:
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.
“I campaigned in 2018 on several priorities for California and the nation: preventing and combating wildfires, mitigating the effects of record-setting drought, responding to the homelessness crisis, and ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Congress has enacted legislation on all of these topics over the past several years, but more needs to be done – and I will continue these efforts.
“I also remain focused on passing commonsense legislation to fight the epidemic of gun violence, preserving our pristine lands and promoting economic growth – especially to position California for what I believe will be the century of the Pacific. And I will use my seniority on the Appropriations Committee to ensure California gets its fair share of funding.
“I’m confident we can achieve these goals because we’ve done it before. From the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to the 2014 CIA torture report, from preserving Lake Tahoe and the Mojave Desert to passing the first significant global warming legislation, from protecting student athletes from abuse to protecting consumers from harmful chemicals, and more recently improving our efforts to combat wildfire and drought, we have improved the lives of millions.
“Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems. That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years. My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”
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