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How old is too old to sit in Congress?

(NewsNation) – Some colleagues of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are reportedly concerned about her “rapidly deteriorating” memory and ability to do the job, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Feinstein, 88, is the oldest serving U.S. senator, and in March 2021, she became the oldest U.S. senator from California.

“It’s bad and it’s getting worse,” an unnamed Democratic senator told The Chronicle, adding that Feinstein struggled to follow conversations.

The newspaper claims that Feinstein no longer appears to fully recognize his longtime colleagues and that one person had to introduce himself to her several times during an interaction that lasted several hours.

Staff members also reportedly told The Chronicle that it appears Feinstein is no longer able to carry out his duties without the help of his staff.

NewsNation reached out to Feinstein for a response on the accuracy of his colleagues’ comments and received the following statement:

“I remain committed to doing what I said when I was re-elected in 2018: fight for Californians, including on the economy and the key California issues of water and fire.

“Although I have focused for much of the past year on the health and ultimate passing of my husband, I have remained determined to achieve results and would pit my record against anyone’s.

“Over the past several months, I have successfully led the reauthorization of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, secured more direct government funding for my state than any other Democratic Senator other than the Chairman of the Committee on credits and secured additional funding to retain federal firefighters to help prepare California for the upcoming wildfire season.

“The real question is whether I am still an effective representative for 40 million Californians, and the record shows that I am.”

The Chronicle also cited lawmakers who defend Feinstein’s abilities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said it was “unconscionable that just weeks after losing her beloved husband of more than four decades and after decades of exceptional leadership in our city and our State, she be subjected to those ridiculous attacks which are beneath the dignity in which she led and the esteem in which she is held.”

Journalist Eric Garcia, senior Washington correspondent for The Independent, says it’s important to recognize that it’s not about age.

“When she answers questions, it often makes the news because she says something that’s a little shocking,” Garcia said during a Thursday night appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

“She was strong for a long time. I would say even until 2018 when she ran for office. That’s why it’s so visible. She’s a woman who is a trailblazer in California politics.” , added Garcia.

Conservative strategist Charmaine Yoast and Democratic strategist Bernard Whitman also shared their views on age limits in Congress during an appearance on “Banfield.” (See the video below.)

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Feinstein’s term is due to expire in 2024.


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