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Dianne Feinstein Remembered by Political Leaders as a "Titan" in the U.S. Senate

Dianne Feinstein Remembered by Political Leaders as a "Titan" in the U.S. Senate

Dianne Feinstein

The nation mourns a trailblazer in politics, advocate for women’s rights, and champion for LGBTQ+ equality.

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Politicians from both political parties are honoring the memory of Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California , who passed away at age 90 Thursday night in her Washington, D.C. home. Feinstein was a trailblazer in American politics, amassing an extensive legislative record supporting women’s and LGBTQ + rights, and she was the longest-serving woman senator in U.S. history.

On Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer paid tribute to Feinstein on the Senate floor. Schumer noted her “amazing, wonderful qualities,” saying, “Her integrity was a diamond. Her integrity shone like a beacon across the Senate and across the country for all to see and hopefully emulate.” He added that Feinstein was not just a voter but an active advocate for causes she believed in.

“She would take on any force, any special interest, any opponent with relentless integrity and would wear those opponents down until she succeeded,” Schumer said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called her an “actual friend” during his tribute on the Senate floor. Additionally, lawmakers, public figures, and organizations have been vocal about her impact in California and nationwide.

Feinstein served as the first female Mayor of San Francisco before becoming the first woman senator from California. She was also the first woman to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and chair of both the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Her legislative record in support of the LGBTQ+ community was consistently strong. Feinstein notably opposed discriminatory laws like the Defense of Marriage Act and was instrumental in pushing the landmark Respect for Marriage Act through Congress. These actions were part of a broader commitment to social justice that expressed her unwavering support for women’s rights.

RELATED: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's LGBTQ+ Record: Positive With Some Exceptions

She shattered glass ceilings, becoming the first woman to serve in various critical roles in Senate committees and leading the way on issues like the Violence Against Women Act.

Out U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia, also a Democrat from California, emphasized Feinstein’s impact on LGBTQ+ rights, writing on social media, “Her legacy of progressive leadership on LGBTQ+ rights forged a path for a more equal country. She was a hero to our community.”

He later issued a statement highlighting the late senator’s fierce LGBTQ+ allyship.

“Senator Feinstein fought fearlessly for LGBTQ+ marriage protections, workforce and military equality, and the prohibition of discriminatory adoption policies based on sexual orientation,” Garcia said. “As San Francisco Supervisor and then Mayor, she led the city through the tragic death of Harvey Milk and honored his legacy while carrying on his dedication to fight for the rights of all Californians. The LGBTQ+ community owes major strides in progress to the commitment and drive that defined Senator Feinstein’s trail blazing career.”

President Joe Biden , who served alongside Feinstein in the Senate, praised her legislative skill.

“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,” he said. “Often the only woman in the room, Dianne was a role model for so many Americans.”

Vice President Kamala Harris extolled Feinstein’s legacy, saying she “broke barriers, inspired generations of women to run for office, and improved the lives of millions of Americans.” Harris highlighted her own experiences with Feinstein, noting that it was “my honor to serve the people of California alongside Senator Feinstein” and commending their shared work on “issues critical to America’s national security.”

Harris continued, “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.”

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi highlighted Feinstein’s impact on public safety and her role as a pioneering woman leader. Pelosi said, “Dianne was a pioneering woman leader, who served as San Francisco’s first female Mayor with unmatched courage, poise, and grace. Standing strong amid horror and heartbreak, she offered our City a beacon of strength and hope.”

Former President Barack Obama also paid tribute, noting that Feinstein will be “rightly remembered as a trailblazer” and praising her advocacy on gun safety measures and civil rights.

“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,” Obama wrote.

The sentiments were echoed by out Sen. Tammy Baldwin , who referred to Feinstein as a “trailblazer in every sense of the word.”

Democratic House leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who called her a “titan in the United States Senate.”

Feinstein’s chief of staff, James Saules, conveyed the depth of her contributions in a statement. “Senator Feinstein never backed away from a fight for what was just and right,” he wrote. “At the same time, she was always willing to work with anyone, even those she disagreed with, if it meant bettering the lives of Californians.”

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