(USNewsMag.com) – On his first day back in the Senate April 17, Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell outlined the plan for Senate Republicans to stop efforts by Democrats to temporarily replace California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee.
Feinstein, 89, who has been out since early March after being hospitalized with shingles, asked the Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to replace her temporarily on the Judiciary Committee on April 12.
To replace Feinstein, Democrats need 60 votes, which requires 10 Republicans to vote with the Democrats. Schumer said he wanted to put the vote to the Senate floor, however it appears he may not have the votes.
McConnell was not the only Republican to speak out against replacing Feinstein. Sen. John Cornyn, who is a senior member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Senate GOP Whip John Thune also said they were opposed to replacing Feinstein. Both Arkansas Sen Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn spoke on Twitter against replacing her to push through “activist judges.”
In order to approve President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees, Democrats were hoping to be able to replace Feinstein as without her there is an even split between the parties on the Judiciary Committee. Currently, there are 12 judicial nominees that could be stalled without her return. Without Republican support is unclear how many of the nominees would make it through as increasingly the votes have become partisan. Without bipartisan support a nomination is not moved to the Senate floor.
Two House Democrats, California Rep. Ro Khanna and Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips called for Feinstein to resign due to the hold up of Biden’s judicial nominees. Her request to ask for a replacement came just after the two called for her resignation.
In February, Feinstein announced she would not be seeking reelection in 2024.
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