Editor’s note: This report has been updated to reflect correct comments from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the late California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) “a hero” after news of her death broke Friday morning.
“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 the bad,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“Dianne Feinstein was all of this and more. A friend, a hero for so many … a leader who changed the nature of the Senate and who changed the fabric of the nation, America, for the better,” he added.
Feinstein, 90, served in the Senate for three decades prior to her death. Schumer had praised her as “a legend” after she announced her retirement earlier this year.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that she and her family “were heartbroken to learn of the passing of our dear friend Dianne Feinstein.”
“For decades, Senator Feinstein was a pillar of public service in California: from San Francisco’s City Hall to the United States Capitol. Her indomitable, indefatigable leadership made a magnificent difference for our national security and personal safety, the health of our people and our planet, and the strength of our Democracy,” Pelosi said.
“Dianne’s extraordinary career will continue to inspire countless young women and girls to pursue public service for generations to come,” Pelosi added.
Feinstein was absent from some work this week. However, she did participate in Senate votes Thursday morning. She needed a wheelchair to get around the upper house in the wake of a severe case of shingles earlier this year that resulted in her missing about three months of work.
“She was one of the most effective legislators in recent memory because of her willingness to work across the aisle in good faith in order to solve complex problems,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who served on the Senate Judiciary Committee with Feinstein, said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) will now have to appoint a temporary replacement for her.
“Sen Feinstein did an outstanding job representing the [people] of California,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I worked closely [with] her as a member of the drug caucus [and] judiciary cmte. During the time I was chair [and] she was ranking Democrat we had a wonderful working relationship[.] She’s a true public servant[.] I’ll miss her.”
Updated at 10:47 a.m.