n a stunning development, Representative Ritchie Torres of New York became the fifth House Democrat to call for the resignation of Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. Torres argued that lawmakers should step aside if they become “a shadow of their former selves,” emphasizing the importance of representation by the best-suited individuals. Speaking to Insider, Torres expressed his view for the first time, asserting that once a member of Congress is no longer capable of effectively representing their state, they have a duty to move on.
Torres joins Representatives Ro Khanna of California, Dean Phillips of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in urging Feinstein to vacate her position in the upper chamber.
Feinstein, who has had a distinguished 30-year career in the Senate, is facing scrutiny over her mental acuity and recent challenges in fulfilling her senatorial responsibilities. The New York Times recently reported that, in addition to her battle with shingles, Feinstein has been dealing with complications such as encephalitis—a brain swelling that can lead to memory issues, increased confusion, and difficulties in walking.
Upon her return to the Capitol earlier this month, Feinstein appeared more frail than ever, relying on a wheelchair to navigate the Senate. There was even a moment when she seemed to forget that she had been away from Washington while speaking to reporters shortly after her comeback.
Feinstein’s office released a statement stating that her doctors have recommended a light schedule as she continues her recovery. However, the California Democrat has adamantly refused to step down, receiving support from prominent Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Feinstein previously announced her decision to retire at the end of her term in February, but the recent demands for her resignation have intensified the ongoing debate.
As Representative Torres voiced his opinion, a spokesperson for Feinstein declined to provide an immediate response to his remarks, leaving the situation in further flux.