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Seemingly confused Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein repeatedly told to say 'aye' during awkward committee vote
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Seemingly confused Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein repeatedly told to say 'aye' during awkward committee vote

During an awkward moment at a Senate Appropriations Committee markup on Thursday, a seemingly confused Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was repeatedly told to say "aye" during a vote.

The episode unfolded when Feinstein was the first person called upon to cast a vote pertaining to a defense appropriations bill. Someone — probably committee chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) — could be heard telling Feinstein to say the word "aye," but instead Feinstein began delivering remarks, which she appeared to be reading. After Feinstein spoke for awhile, a man interrupted and said something to her. Murray could then be heard telling Feinstein to "just say aye."

Once Feinstein finally voted, the rest of the vote was able to proceed.

"Trying to complete all of the appropriations bills before recess, the committee markup this morning was a little chaotic, constantly switching back and forth between statements, votes, and debate and the order of bills. The senator was preoccupied, didn't realize debate had just ended and a vote was called. She started to give a statement, was informed it was a vote and then cast her vote," a Feinstein spokesperson said, according to The Hill.

The 90-year-old legislator, who took office in 1992, is not planning to seek re-election in 2024.

Earlier this year, Feinstein missed time in Washington, D.C., due to her health, and some Democrats called for her to resign.

The senator had been diagnosed with shingles, and an April statement attributed to the lawmaker said that her "return to Washington has been delayed due to continued complications related to my diagnosis."

"She is still experiencing temporary side effects from the virus including vision and balance impairments," a press release noted when the lawmaker returned to Washington in May.

The Los Angeles Times reported in May that Feinstein spokesperson Adam Russell noted, "While the encephalitis resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome."

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