‘Just say, Aye,’ Feinstein Told During Vote

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein | Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared confused during a roll-call vote on Thursday, setting off whispers about her overall health.

Instead of voting, 90-year-old Feinstein (D-CA), the oldest-serving member of the Senate, started reading prepared remarks.

When it came time to say “aye” to a defense appropriations bill, she seemingly froze. The moment came one day after 81-year-old Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) froze for more than 20 seconds at a press conference.

“Just say, ‘Aye,'” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) told Feinstein.

Feinstein responded: “Pardon me?”

“Aye,” Murray repeated.

Feinstein instead started making comments about the bill, which happens after the roll call.

“I would like to support a ‘yes’ vote on this,” Feinstein said. “It provides $823 billion — that’s an increase of $26 billion for the Department of Defense, and it funds priorities submitted …”

A staff member cut off the senator.

“Just say, ‘Aye,'” Murray told Feinstein a third time.

“OK, just…” Feinstein said, still confused.

Laughing, Feinstein realized her mistake and said, “Aye.”

A spokesperson told Fox News that Feinstein, who has announced she will not run for re-election in 2024, was mixed up.

“Trying to complete all of the appropriations bills before recess, the committee markup this morning was a little chaotic, constantly switching back and forth between statements, votes, and debate and the order of bills,” the statement claimed.

“The senator was preoccupied, didn’t realize debate had just ended and a vote was called. She started to give a statement, was informed it was a vote, and then cast her vote.”

Feinstein revealed on March 2 that she had been hospitalized with shingles in San Francisco. She returned to the U.S. Capitol on May 11. Her return restored the Democrats’ 51-49 majority.

Some Democrats at the time called for her resignation.

“I intend to return as soon as possible once my medical team advises that it’s safe for me to travel,” Feinstein said in a statement at the time. “In the meantime, I remain committed to the job and will continue to work from home in San Francisco.”

Feinstein has reportedly demonstrated other moments of confusion.

After announcing her 2024 plans, she said she had not decided or made public whether to seek another term, The Hill reported. Following her return to the Capitol after she recovered from shingles in May, she told reporters, “I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”

Several California Democrats have announced they will run for her seat, including U.S. House members Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Katie Porter.

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