PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest are remembering U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein after her office announced her death on Friday.
The 90-year-old senator died on Thursday night at her home in Washington, D.C., her office said.
Remembering the late senator, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) “Senator Feinstein lived an exceptional life dedicated to public service, and leaves behind a rich legacy of tenacity and willingness to build bridges across the aisle to solve problems. An icon for women in politics.”
He added, “it was an honor and my privilege to work with her in the Senate. My heart is with her loved ones during this difficult time.”
In a statement, Sen. Ron Wyden said, “heartbroken this morning Dianne Feinstein was a treasured friend to the Wyden family. She was an extraordinary advocate for San Fransico, for California, and for the West.”
Rep. Andrea Salinas described how Feinstein inspired her early political career, noting “I first caught the public service bug as an intern in Senator Feinstein’s office. She was a trailblazer for women, a tireless advocate for her constituents, and a titan of the U.S. Senate. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones.”
Washington Senator Patty Murray remembered the late senator in a Senate floor speech, noting “yesterday, the senior senator from California came on to the floor, through those doors, to do her job. She voted. She voted to make sure that our country would continue to move forward and not shut down. That was Dianne. She did her job every day.”
“She cared about her country, she cared about her state, she cared about doing a job no matter how tough it is for the future of America, and she did it with dignity and respect every single minute,” Murray continued, adding in part, “It is a true loss for America, it is a loss to her family; my heart is with you. It is a loss to her colleagues from California who have served with her and know her as I do.”
Murray highlighted Feinstein’s career fighting for women, victims of gun violence, and her work in foreign policy.
Washington Rep. Suzan Delbene said on X “America lost a true champion of democracy today. Sen. Feinstein was a pioneer for women in politics & a fierce advocate for the rule of law. Her steadfast leadership & commitment to public service will love on for generations to come.”
Her death came after a bout of shingles sidelined her for more than two months earlier this year — an absence that drew frustration from her most liberal critics and launched an unsuccessful attempt by Democrats to temporarily replace her on the Senate Judiciary Committee. When she returned to the Senate in May, she was frail and using a wheelchair, voting only occasionally.
On Friday morning, her Senate desk was draped in black and topped with a vase of white roses. Senators gave tearful tributes as members of the California House delegation stood in the back of the chamber and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat in the gallery with Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.