Following three decades in Senate
By OW Staff
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will retire from Congress at the end of 2024 after three decades in the Senate and over 50 years in public office, she announced in a statement last week.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said.
Feinstein, 89, is currently the oldest sitting member of the upper chamber and the longest-serving senator from her state, first elected to the Senate in 1992.
She said in her statement Tuesday that she remains focused on passing legislation to address gun violence, promote economic growth and preserve U.S. lands. Feinstein said she’s confident Democrats can achieve those goals because of their previous work.
“Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives,” she said. “Each of us was sent here to solve problems. That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years.”
Feinstein had been under pressure for years from other Democrats in the state to make room for a younger generation of legislators who could fill her seat. She had also declined the role in the new Congress of president pro tempore, which has traditionally been the senior member of the majority party since the mid-20th century.
Her retirement also opens up her California Senate seat for the first time in decades. A number of House Democrats have announced a 2024 campaign bid for the seat, including Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff. Rep. Barbara Lee is also planning to announce a Senate run by the end of this month, a source confirmed to NBC News.
Feinstein has worked under five presidential administrations and alongside the two presidents who also served with her in the Senate: Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
In April 2022, she pushed back against a news report citing multiple anonymous colleagues expressing worry that she was mentally unfit to serve. And as recently as December, she was still conveying publicly she had no plans to retire.