Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called on Senator Dianne Feinstein of California to resign amid her continued absence from the Senate, CNN reported.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez posted her comments on the Bluesky social media app, which is meant to be a competitor to Twitter. Ms Feinstein, the oldest-serving Senator at 89, has been out of the Senate since March when she contracted shingles.
Democrats have only 51 seats in the Senate and Ms Feinstein’s place on the Senate Judiciary Committee means that Democrats are unable to confirm any judicial nominees out of committee that do not have Republican support.
Last month, Ms Feinstein asked to temporarily give up her spot on the committee and have Senator Ben Cardin replace her. Republicans rebuffed the request, though they said they would seat a permanent replacement were Ms Feinstein to resign.
The self-described democratic socialist said that Ms Feinstein, who announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election, should step aside.
“I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.
Some Democrats have hinted that calls on Ms Feinstein to resign the Senate seat that she won in 1992 are sexist given that some Senators served until they were far older than she was and others died in office.
“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary - precisely where repro rights are getting stripped. That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP- approved nominees,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson Lauren Hitt confirmed to CNN that the Bluesky posts were authentic.
The congresswoman’s spokesperson also confirmed that Ms Ocasio-Cortez would not run a primary campaign against incumbent Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand next year.
“She is not planning to run for Senate in 2024. She is not planning to primary Gillibrand,” she said.