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Adam Schiff not calling on Diane Feinstein to resign

(NewsNation) — Rep. Adam Schiff is not joining some of his Democratic colleagues in calling for the resignation of fellow California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, he told NewsNation in a Thursday interview.

When pressed on the matter, Schiff said he is “calling on her to get better.”

“I have enormous respect for her — my thoughts really, at this point, are I just want her to get better as my friend,” Schiff said. “I hope that she fully recovers from this bout of shingles and she’s back in session, voting and able to do her work. That’s where my hope lies.”

Feinstein has been absent from the Senate since being hospitalized last month with shingles. Her last vote was in mid-February.

Earlier this year, Feinstein announced she is not running again for re-election in 2024. Schiff is running for her high-profile California Senate seat, which is why he says he hasn’t “proactively weighed in” on whether she should resign before.

FILE - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., leaves a classified briefing on China, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Democrats’ efforts to temporarily replace Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee met quick opposition Monday, April 17, from some Republicans, potentially complicating the plan even as some of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees remain on hold during her extended medical absence. Feinstein, 89, last week asked to be temporarily replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee while she recuperates in her home state from a case of the shingles. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)FILE – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., leaves a classified briefing on China, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Other politicians have, however. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said Feinstein, who is on the Judiciary Committee, should no longer serve in the Senate, as it is “unacceptable” for her to miss votes to confirm judges, especially those who could weigh in on abortion rights.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., also said Feinstein should step down, emphasizing the importance of getting judicial nominees confirmed in a timely manner.

Recently, Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress at 89, asked to be temporarily replaced on the Judiciary Committee.

But not everyone agrees that the embattled senator should step down. Some have called demands for her resignation a “double standard.”

“I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

That is a sentiment Schiff shares — “I didn’t see the same calls for (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell to resign,” he told NewsNation. McConnell recently missed several weeks in the Senate recovering from a fall.

Republicans have also balked at Democrats’ efforts to temporarily replace Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee.

Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn said he hopes to see Feinstein back in the Senate soon, but “until then, President Biden’s most controversial, partisan judicial nominees will have to wait.”

Saying it is “tragic and predictable” that Republicans won’t honor Feinstein’s request for a replacement, Schiff said she made the right decision to ask.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday that he is moving forward and hopes to put a resolution on the Senate floor this week seeking a temporary substitute on the committee.

Schiff added that he is confident Schumer will find a way to deal with the situation “so that we can get those judges appointed, which is absolutely vital.”

“The best solution, I think, for all would be a swift recovery by Sen. Feinstein,” Schiff said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.