Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the leading Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee for four years, announced Monday that she “will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress.”
In a statement issued Monday evening, Feinstein noted her position of ranking member of the Judiciary Committee since 2017, her previous position as chairman and vice chairman on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
Feinstein said that she will continue serving as a member of all of those committees next year and will remain on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations and Rules committees as we work with the Biden administration on priorities like gun safety, immigration reform and addressing inequities in criminal justice,” Feinstein said. “I will continue to do my utmost to bring about positive change in the coming years.”
In her statement, Feinstein also indicated that she plans to focus on “two crucial issues” specific to her state in the 117th Congress.
“California is a huge state confronting two existential threats – wildfire and drought – that are only getting worse with climate change,” Feinstein said. “In the next Congress, I plan to increase my attention on those two crucial issues.”
Feinstein added that she believes that defeating COVID-19, combating climate change and protecting access to health care are “critical national priorities that require even more concentration.”
Last month, Feinstein came under fire from Democrats for praising Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, for his performance during the rushed confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Feinstein told Graham that the Barrett hearings were “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in” and thanked him for his “fairness.”