California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after being absent from the chamber for almost three months following a shingles diagnosis earlier this year.
Feinstein — the oldest-serving senator at age 89 and the longest-serving female senator — was photographed Wednesday exiting from a vehicle and getting into a wheelchair outside the Capitol, where she was greeted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
With the help of her staff, Feinstein was then rolled into the Capitol as Schumer walked alongside of her wheelchair. Her return to work restores the Democrats’ 51-49 majority in the Senate.
Schumer confirmed the longtime senator’s return to D.C. in a statement on Tuesday, saying he was pleased that his “friend Dianne is back in the Senate and ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is shown arriving back at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after her absence from the chamber following a shingles diagnosis. (Chip Somodevilla, Kevin Dietsch, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
On March 2, Feinstein revealed she was hospitalized with shingles in San Francisco adding that she hoped to return to the Senate later that month.
“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco,” Feinstein’s office shared with Fox News Digital at the time. “I hope to return to the Senate later this month.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., exits from her vehicle as she returns to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., greets Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as she returns to the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Her nearly three month-long absence prompted calls from politicians on both sides of the aisle for the veteran senator to retire.
“It’s time for [Feinstein] to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter. “While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., returns to Congress on Wednesday, ending a more than two-month absence due to illness. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also called for the senator’s resignation as several judicial nominations are pending in the Senate.
“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary — precisely where [reproductive] rights are getting stripped,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview. “That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., escorts Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as she arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday following an absence due to health issues. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Feinstein, who took office in 1992 and is the longest-serving senator in California history, announced in February she would not seek re-election in 2024.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives for the Senate Democratic Caucus leadership election at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
“I am announcing today I will not run for re-election in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” the senator wrote on Twitter. “Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives.”
Prior to representing California in the U.S. Senate, Feinstein served as San Francisco’s first female mayor.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and The Associated Press contributed to this report.