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Reaction pours in after the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California died at the age of 90 at her home in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Reaction pours in after the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 29, 2023

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is being remembered as a fearless leader after her passing on Friday. Tributes have poured in from her colleagues in Washington, D.C., and those who knew her best. 

SEE MORE: US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, longest-serving woman senator, dies at 90

President Joe Biden

"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.

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."

Vice President Kamala Harris

Senator Dianne Feinstein was one of the greatest public servants that California and our nation has ever known.

As the first woman president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco, and the longest-tenured woman to serve in the United States Senate, Dianne Feinstein broke barriers, inspired generations of women to run for office, and improved the lives of millions of Americans through her vision, courage, and leadership.

From her work to help pass the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, to her work to safeguard California's public lands, and her longstanding advocacy for reproductive rights, marriage equality, and LGBTQ+ rights, Senator Feinstein helped build a better America.

For years, I witnessed Senator Feinstein's leadership, when the cameras were on and when they were off. In 2008, when I was re-elected District Attorney of San Francisco, it was Senator Feinstein who swore me in. As a United States Senator, it was my honor to serve the people of California alongside Senator Feinstein.

On the Senate Intelligence Committee, we spent a great deal of time together—in classified, bipartisan briefings and hearings—working on issues critical to America’s national security and the stability of the world. Senator Feinstein and I shared a fundamental belief in the importance of strong American leadership. And I saw firsthand how she worked courageously to ensure that our leadership was guided by our nation’s values.

In the tradition of so many great Senators from California, she was not only a leader for our state, but for our nation and our world. Through her long career, Senator Feinstein worked across the aisle to help our nation live up to its promise.

Doug and I send our prayers to Senator Feinstein’s family.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

"We lost a giant in the Senate. Senator Dianne Feinstein was one of the most amazing people who ever graced the Senate, who ever graced the country. She had so many amazing qualities wrapped up in one incredible human being. She was smart. She was strong. She was brave. She was compassionate. But maybe the trait that stood out most of all was her amazing integrity."

Former President Barack Obama

"Dianne Feinstein will be rightly remembered as a trailblazer — the first woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco and the first woman elected to the Senate from California. But once she broke those barriers and walked through those doors, she got to work.

I first got to know Dianne in the Senate, where she was a fierce advocate for gun safety measures and civil rights. Later, when I was president, I came to rely on her as a trusted partner in the fight to guarantee affordable healthcare and economic opportunity for everyone.

The best politicians get into public service because they care about this country and the people they represent. That was certainly true of Dianne Feinstein, and all of us are better for it. Today Michelle and I are thinking of her daughter, Katherine, and everyone who knew and loved her."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

"Senator Feinstein was a political pioneer with a historic career of public service. Intelligent, hard working & always treated everyone with courtesy & respect. May God grant her eternal rest."

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

"From 1994, when she passed the Assault Weapons Ban as a first term Senator, until the tragedy in Newtown, Dianne Feinstein was a lonely voice fighting against gun violence. The modern anti-gun violence movement, now stronger than the gun lobby, would not exist but for Dianne."

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif.

"It is with profound sadness that I bid farewell to my dear friend, colleague, and champion for the State of California, Senator Dianne Feinstein. Dianne Feinstein was a towering figure not just in modern California politics, but in the history of our state and our nation."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

"Dianne Feinstein was many things — a powerful, trailblazing U.S. Senator; an early voice for gun control; a leader in times of tragedy and chaos. But to me, she was a dear friend, a lifelong mentor, and a role model not only for me, but to my wife and daughters for what a powerful, effective leader looks like.

She was a political giant, whose tenacity was matched by her grace. She broke down barriers and glass ceilings, but never lost her belief in the spirit of political cooperation. And she was a fighter — for the city, the state and the country she loved. Every race she won, she made history, but her story wasn’t just about being the first woman in a particular political office, it was what she did for California, and for America, with that power once she earned it. That’s what she should be remembered for.

There is simply nobody who possessed the strength, gravitas, and fierceness of Dianne Feinstein. Jennifer and I are deeply saddened by her passing, and we will mourn with her family in this difficult time."

Bill and Hillary Clinton

Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend Senator Dianne Feinstein, a pioneering public servant who worked tirelessly on behalf of California and all of America throughout her long career. 

As Mayor of San Francisco, she helped heal the wounds left by the assassination of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, overcame the darkest days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and saved the iconic cable car system. 

After her election to the Senate in 1992, she established herself as one of the chamber's most effective champions of civil rights and civil liberties, environmental protection, and strong national security.

She was a fearless fighter who never backed down from what she believed in, but knew that principled compromise is often necessary to get things done for the good of the country and her constituents.

I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to work closely with her, particularly to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, which she authored, and on environmental preservation, including the cleanup of Lake Tahoe. And Hillary was proud to serve alongside her in the Senate. 

Dianne's legacy will endure with all the people living better, safer, healthier lives because of her, and in everyone who was inspired by her trailblazing life and career. Our thoughts and prayers are with Katherine, Eileen, and all the people who loved her.

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