Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senator Dianne Feinstein’s long and distinguished career following yesterday’s announcement that she will not run for reelection in 2024. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, our wonderful colleague from California, Senator Dianne Feinstein, announced that she will retire at the end of her term.
I’m careful not to throw the word “legend” around too often in this chamber, as it truly befits so few. But Dianne Feinstein is precisely that—she’s a legend.
She’s a legend in California, where she shattered innumerable glass ceilings as the first woman Senator from the state. And we even forget how even 20, 30 years ago, the barriers which are still in front of women were even stronger, so it took a strong, tough, resolute woman to break them—and she did.
She’s a legend here in the Senate. The longest-serving woman Senator in U.S. history, she built a reputation as an expert legislator and a leader on so many issues—gun violence, the environment, women’s rights, so much more.
I first got to know Dianne when she led the effort to pass the 1994 ban on assault weapons in the Senate. I led it in the House.
I have always been amazed by the sheer depth of her knowledge on the issues, how careful she is about learning all of the facts before she goes forward, and then her seemingly innate ability to convince people on both sides of the aisle to work together.
That’s why her list of accomplishments is so long: the assault weapons ban, protecting oversight authority during the investigation into U.S. torture, championing the Violence Against Women Act. It goes on and on and on.
But perhaps her greatest legacy is how she blazed a trail for women and girls everywhere. Today, there are 25 women serving in this chamber. There are 25 women serving in this chamber, all of whom stand on Dianne’s shoulders.
So, we’re all very glad we have another year and a half with her to fight the good fight, and I know she will use that time to fiercely advocate for women’s rights in all aspects of life and unwaveringly represent the people of California.