President Biden paid tribute to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday following her announcement that she will not run for reelection in 2024, calling her “one of the very best” senators he has worked with.
Biden said in a statement that he knew he wanted Feinstein to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee while he was serving as chairman of the panel because of her “proven track record of standing up for people’s rights and fighting to make their lives better.”
“I’ve served with more U.S. Senators than just about anyone. I can honestly say that Dianne Feinstein is one of the very best. I look forward to continuing to work with her as she serves out her term,” he said.
Feinstein announced in a statement earlier on Tuesday that she would finish the rest of her term set to end in 2025 but would not seek reelection to a sixth full term in the Senate. She has served since winning a special election in 1992, becoming one of California’s first two female senators.
Biden said Feinstein was a leader in securing the passage of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which prohibited the use of certain semiautomatic weapons. He said she is a “passionate defender” of people’s civil liberties, has played a key role in crafting national security policies that have kept the country safe and has worked to protect the environment.
“Often the only woman in the room, she was determined to lift America up, and through her intellect, empathy, character, and drive, to make this country everything it could be,” he said.
Biden was elected as the junior senator from Delaware in 1972. He represented the state in the upper chamber until 2009.
Feinstein has served as the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence and Rules committees during her time in the body.
Feinstein’s announcement came after two House Democrats already declared their candidacies to succeed her.
Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) both announced that they are running for the seat last month. Rep. Barbara Lee is reportedly expected to announce her candidacy by the end of the month.