(The Hill) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) reportedly expressed confusion last year when Vice President Kamala Harris was presiding over the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote, according to a new report detailing the difficulties the ailing lawmaker faces as she continues her work in the Senate.
The new report from The New York Times outlines the many functions Feinstein’s staff play and the struggles the longtime senator faces as she returns to work after bouts of shingles and encephalitis earlier this year.
The latest example, however, reportedly took place last year and illustrates the difficulty Feinstein has had recalling, at times, the basics of how the Senate operates. According to the new report, Feinstein expressed confusion to her colleagues, when she saw Harris presiding over the chamber, in one of many tiebreaking votes the vice president has had to cast.
“What is she doing here?” Feinstein asked, according to the report. The report cites “a person who witnessed the scene.”
Reports of Feinstein’s memory issues stem back more than a year, but since returning to the Senate after a monthslong absence because of her illness, the California Democrat appears frailer than she once had and relies more on her staff to help do her job.
Feinstein, 89, announced in February she would not run for reelection in 2024, but she said she would continue serving the remainder of her term. Some Democrats began calling for her to resign during her prolonged absence, but momentum has slowed on the issue since she has returned to work.