Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday paid an emotional tribute to Senator Dianne Feinstein, who passed away at the age of 90, calling her a “giant of the Senate” in remarks on the Senate floor.
“Senator Dianne Feinstein was one of the most amazing people who ever graced the Senate who ever graced the country,” said Schumer, adding, “Her integrity shone like a beacon across the Senate and across the country for all to see.”
“Dianne didn't just put push down doors that were closed for women. She held them open for generations of a woman after her to follow her. Today, there are 25 women serving in this chamber and every one of them admit they stand on Dianne's shoulders,” said Schumer, who choked up as he spoke.
“The sign of a leader is someone who dedicates the whole of their spirit for a cause greater than themselves. The sign of a hero is someone who fights for others who endures for others, no matter the cost, no matter the odds. And the sign of a friend is someone who stands by your side to fight the good fight on the good days and on the bad,” he stated.
President Joe Biden issued a statement in memory of Feinstein, saying, “Senator Dianne Feinstein was a pioneering American. A true trailblazer. And for Jill and me, a cherished friend.”
“In San Francisco, she showed enormous poise and courage in the wake of tragedy, and became a powerful voice for American values. Serving in the Senate together for more than 15 years, I had a front row seat to what Dianne was able to accomplish. It’s why I recruited her to serve on the Judiciary Committee when I was Chairman – I knew what she was made of, and I wanted her on our team. There’s no better example of her skillful legislating and sheer force of will than when she turned passion into purpose, and led the fight to ban assault weapons. Dianne made her mark on everything from national security to the environment to protecting civil liberties. She’s made history in so many ways, and our country will benefit from her legacy for generations.”
Often the only woman in the room, Dianne was a role model for so many Americans – a job she took seriously by mentoring countless public servants, many of whom now serve in my Administration. She had an immense impact on younger female leaders for whom she generously opened doors. Dianne was tough, sharp, always prepared, and never pulled a punch, but she was also a kind and loyal friend, and that’s what Jill and I will miss the most,” said Biden.
“As we mourn with her daughter Katherine and the Feinstein family, her team in the Senate, and the people of California, we take comfort that Dianne is reunited again with her beloved Richard. May God Bless Dianne Feinstein,” he concluded.
Feinstein was the oldest sitting member of the upper chamber and the longest-serving senator from her state, first elected to the Senate in 1992.
Her grandparents were of German-Jewish ancestry but practiced the Russian Orthodox Christian faith, as was required for Jews in Saint Petersburg. Christianity was passed down to Feinstein's mother, who insisted on her attending a prestigious local Catholic school, but Feinstein listed her religion as Judaism.
The Senator at times had a contentious relationship with Israel. In 2015, she launched a verbal attack against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time was preparing to speak to Congress against the Iran deal.
Feinstein said at the time that Netanyahu is "arrogant" for asserting that he speaks for all Jews, adding that he doesn't speak for her.
In 2018, Feinstein joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in opposing a bill intended to protect Israel from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
A year later, she was one of six Democratic senators who introduced a resolution to restore US humanitarian aid to Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)