Schumer on Feinstein: ‘We Lost a Giant’

On a somber morning in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York stood to honor the memory of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who passed away at the age of 90.

“We are truly mourning a monumental figure in the Senate today,” began Schumer.

“Sen. Feinstein’s mark on this nation and on the Senate is undeniable. She was a powerhouse in every sense, gracing the United States with her exceptional intellect, unwavering strength, bravery, and deep compassion.

“Her integrity, perhaps her most defining quality, was crystal clear, illuminating the Senate and serving as an example for all Americans.

“When queried about her stance on issues, Sen. Feinstein would diligently say, ‘I need to thoroughly understand this,’ and after doing her research, she would stand steadfastly by her convictions.

“Her commitment and integrity were evident in every battle she faced. She was unstoppable, relentlessly pursuing her objectives with honor, often achieving victory after victory, and thus enhancing the nation.

“I personally witnessed her tenacity during the implementation of the assault weapons ban, especially after the tragedy she faced in California. Despite fierce opposition from groups like the NRA, she remained undeterred, showcasing her resilience, strength, and above all, her unshakable integrity.

“I was honored to support this legislation in the House, after she championed it in the Senate. Throughout the process, she was my guiding star, epitomizing perseverance and fortitude. Truly, Dianne Feinstein was peerless.

“Beyond the assault weapons ban, her legacy includes advocating for the Violence Against Women Act, demanding accountability during the U.S. torture investigations, and championing causes such as climate action, marriage equality, and reproductive rights, among countless others.

“As the head of the Intelligence Committee, she was fearless, ensuring transparency and oversight even when faced with daunting challenges. And in every endeavor, she exemplified unmatched grace and strength.

“I recall an instance when an aggressive colleague attempted to undermine her. Yet, with her signature poise, strength, and integrity, she stood her ground, earning the respect of everyone present.

“Dianne consistently broke barriers: serving as the first female president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the inaugural woman mayor of San Francisco, the first female U.S. senator from California, and the premier woman to hold leadership roles on several Senate Committees.

“She was a trailblazer for women in public service. Her contributions transcended the Senate, creating pathways and platforms for countless women. Every female senator today acknowledges the profound influence of Sen. Feinstein.

“As we grieve her absence today, we’re also filled with gratitude for the privilege of having such an exceptional individual serve in this chamber.

“In conclusion, the mark of true leadership is sacrificing for a cause larger than oneself. Heroes endure for the sake of others, against all odds. True friends stand beside you through every challenge. Sen. Feinstein embodied all these attributes, redefining the Senate and making a lasting impact on our nation.

“Today, as we lament her passing, we also celebrate the numerous barriers she broke and the indelible mark she left. America is undoubtedly richer for having had Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“In solidarity with my peers, I pay tribute to our esteemed colleague and friend.”