Legacy of the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
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(ABC 6 News) – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein passed away Thursday night.
The California lawmaker was the oldest sitting senator at 90 years old.
Senator Feinstein was a role model for many women in politics and a trailblazer who broke gender barriers throughout her career, on both the local and national levels.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) opened the Senate Friday morning with a moment of silence for the late senator.
“Senator Dianne Feinstein was one of the most amazing people who ever graced the Senate, who ever graced the country,” said Schumer.
Feinstein’s office confirmed the senior senator died at her home on Thursday, having voted in Congress as recently as earlier that day.
She became the first female president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969 and later the city’s first female mayor after the death of George Moscone.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, she became one of California’s first two female senators.
President Joe Biden served with Feinstein in the Senate. He said that she will be missed by him and the country.
“She was a historic figure, a trailblazer for women, and a great friend. Dianne made her mark in everything from national security to the environment, gun safety to protecting civil liberties,” said Biden.
Feinstein was an inspiration to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), remembering her as someone who strove for change, but also reached across the political aisle to find common ground.
One of the best examples of this was her work with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) in reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
“What a tremendous legacy. You think about women like me being able to stand here and serve this institution,” said Senator Katie Britt (R-AL). “No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we’re so grateful for her service and for her respect for the institution, and for her love of this nation and obviously the people of California.”
Earlier this year, Feinstein said she would not run for a sixth senate term, after receiving criticism of her visibly declining health.
Flags across the country are now being flown at half-staff in her honor until sunset on the day of her burial.
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) will appoint an interim Senator to fill her seat until 2024.