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Statement from Congresswoman Barbara Lee on the retirement of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

OAKLAND, CA — Senator Dianne Feinstein is a historic figure, a trailblazer, and a tireless advocate for the people of California and our country. Shattering glass ceilings, she served as the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the first female Mayor of San Francisco before being sent to Washington as California’s first woman U.S. Senator in 1992 along with Senator Boxer in the historic Year of the Woman, where she continued to challenge the status quo in Washington. Senator Feinstein has been a barrier breaker for all of us who have been inspired by her monumental career, myself included.

Her historic Senate career will be marked by her unwavering commitment to passing groundbreaking legislation. A champion for gun control, she passed the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that banned semi-automatic firearms and continues to be a vocal advocate against gun violence today. A protector of our natural environment, she passed the California Desert Protection Act that safeguarded more than 7 million acres of California desert wilderness. A fighter for women’s and human rights, she pushed the 2022 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and passed legislation to combat human trafficking and protect marriage equality. 

While I hope we will keep the focus in these coming days on celebrating the Senator and her historic tenure in the Senate, I know there are questions about the Senate race in 2024, which I will address soon. 

But for now, let me say I have been honored to serve beside Senator Feinstein in the California Congressional Delegation, and to the Senator, I’d like to say thank you for your enormous service to our state and country.