Committee Assignments Of Dianne Feinstein Gun

When Democrats chanted, “Time’s up! Time’s up!” at the California state convention this weekend, they weren’t protesting serial sexual harassers, as the Hollywood-based #TimesUp movement was founded to do. And they definitely weren’t calling for equal opportunities for women in leadership, the other goal of the Time’s Up movement.

Instead, the protesters were heckling Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior senator, as she walked off the convention stage where she made her case for re-election in 2018.

It’s hard to say if the activists were more engaged in unintentional irony or misplaced anger. But either way, the instinct to heckle Feinstein, instead of throw the woman a parade, should be a red flag for all Democrats as the party tries to figure out a way to win back the House and Senate in the first midterm elections under President Donald Trump.

You’d think that taking advantage of anti-Trump sentiment in California in an election year would be like fishing in an aquarium. How could you really get it wrong?

But by spending time, energy and money opposing a Democrat like Feinstein at the very moment when gun control and the #MeToo movement are the animating issues in politics, California activists are signaling that anger at Trump is more important to them than supporting someone who has been a legislative producer on some of the party’s most important issues for the last 20-plus years.

Feinstein was elected in 1992, which was dubbed the “Year of the Woman” by the national press after three (three!) women, including Feinstein, were elected to the Senate and brought the total up to five.

It was the first election after Anita Hill’s appearance at the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings showed a national television audience how male-dominated and tone deaf the Senate remained.

After she was elected to the Senate, Feinstein became the first woman ever to join the committee that had interrogated Hill as if she were the one on trial. Feinstein would become the first woman to chair the committee next year if Democrats take back the Senate, but she has to get re-elected first.

Right place, right time

It’s easy to dismiss committee assignments and bill introductions as a lot of D.C. mumbo jumbo during campaigns, but Feinstein’s committee assignments have been critical to the bills she’s written and passed, especially Judiciary. That’s where she wrote the 1994 assault weapons ban a year after a mass shooting in San Francisco killed eight people. That bill outlawed 18 different kinds of assault weapons and was the most restrictive gun legislation in the last 25 years.

Even before the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month, Feinstein had already proposed a broader assault weapons ban to prevent the manufacture or importation of 205 military-style assault rifles, including the AR-15, as well as a ban on bump stocks, which a mass shooter in Las Vegas used to increase the amount of ammunition he could use as he shot at concertgoers hundreds of years away.

In the days after the Parkland shooting, Feinstein also announced she’s writing a bill to increase the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21.

“If you can’t buy a handgun or a bottle of beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy an AR-15,” she said in a statement last week.

In addition to gun control, Feinstein has focused on sexual assault and sexual harassment as the top Democrat on the committee.

Would a man have led the charge to expose the dereliction of responsibility at USA Gymnastics as Feinstein did last year? It’s hard to say, but she held emotional hearings to tell the stories of gymnasts who had been molested by Dr. Larry Nassar and passed a bill to require amateur athletic governing bodies to report sexual abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement within 24 hours of hearing any allegations or rumors. The bill also extended the statute of limitations on suing those who perpetrate sex crimes.

Watch: Feinstein, Collins and Others Call for Better Reporting of Sexual Abuse in Athletics

On the Judiciary panel, Feinstein has been mansplained to by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz about the Bill of Rights and lectured by the spokesman for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley about releasing a committee transcript unflattering to the Trump administration. But she’s pushed back on both in a way that most Democrats applauded.

And on issues where Feinstein hasn’t led the fight, she’s almost always been a reliable Democratic vote nonetheless.

Is she the most flamboyant Trump critic? No. Has she been one of the more effective legislators for Democratic priorities since she was elected in 1992? Yes, but that’s not exactly bumper sticker material in an election year.

‘A liberal’s liberal’

Instead of Feinstein, 54 percent of California Democratic activists went for Kevin de León, the 50-year-old state Democratic Senate leader who was raised by a single immigrant mom in San Diego and who will soon be term-limited out of his current job.

As Senate leader, de León has been a liberal’s liberal. He’s passed a law requiring background checks for the sale or purchase of ammunition, pushed aggressive climate change legislation, and authored the “Yes Means Yes” legislation, which mandated that California colleges use the standard of “affirmative” consent from both parties in campus sexual assault investigations. He has also led the Senate while a sexual harassment scandal has roiled the state legislature that he oversees.

In his speech to the convention, de León told Democrats, “I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority.”

Seniority might not be where California’s greatness comes from, but it is definitely how legislation gets passed, especially in the U.S. Senate. And the truth is that Feinstein has been especially adept at moving bills, particularly in the areas that Democrats are most animated by today.

If Democrats want to make real progress on their issues, including gun control, they would be wise to spend their time and energy in 2018 to defeat the people who oppose, instead of share, their agenda, if not their volume. Anger isn’t strategy; it’s therapy. And anger alone has never won an election.

Roll Call columnist Patricia Murphy covers national politics for The Daily Beast. Previously, she was the Capitol Hill bureau chief for Politics Daily and founder and editor of Citizen Jane Politics. Follow her on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

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Topics: 2018democratselectionssenateScandalcaliforniaCampaignsdemocratsDianne FeinsteinDonald J. TrumpElectionsEnergyExecutive BranchFloridaHouseImmigrationIowaleadershipmediaopedRepublicansSenateSupreme CourtTed CruzTexas


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2017 Report Card for Feinstein.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Feinstein is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Feinstein has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Committee Membership

Dianne Feinstein sits on the following committees:

  • Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Member, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
    • Member, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Member, Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Member, Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Member, Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

Enacted Legislation

Feinstein was the primary sponsor of 65 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

View All »

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Feinstein sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Private Legislation (27%)Crime and Law Enforcement (22%)Health (13%)Armed Forces and National Security (12%)Public Lands and Natural Resources (9%)Immigration (8%)International Affairs (5%)Agriculture and Food (4%)

Recent Bills

Some of Feinstein’s most recently sponsored bills include...

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Voting Record

Key Votes

Feinstein’s VoteVote Description
Nay H.R. 1892: Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018; Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018, the SUSTAIN Care Act of 2018; Family First Prevention Services Act.; Honoring Hometown ...
Feb 9, 2018. Motion Agreed to 71/28.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of funding for the federal government through March 23, 2018, to avert a government shutdown that would have occurred on February 9, 2018 had this bill not been enacted. The bill was introduced as the Honoring Hometown Heroes ...
Yea H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
Yea H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
Yea H.R. 2146: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act
Jun 24, 2015. Motion Agreed to 60/38.
This was the Senate's final vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently being negotiated. H.R. 2146 was originally introduced as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. The House had ...
Yea H.R. 1314: Trade Act of 2015
May 22, 2015. Bill Passed 62/37.
This vote turned what was a bill regarding administrative appeals of IRS determinations into the Trade Act of 2015, which included Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal as well as Trade Adjustment Assistance.
Yea H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 18, 2014. Joint Resolution Passed 78/22.
Yea H.R. 4853 (111th): Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
Dec 15, 2010. Motion Agreed to 81/19.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known as the 2010 Tax Relief Act, was passed by the United States Congress on December 16, 2010, and signed into ...
Yea On the Nomination PN958: Michael B. Mukasey, of New York, to be Attorney General
Nov 8, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 53/40.
Yea On the Nomination PN2: Leslie Southwick, of Mississippi, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit
Oct 24, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 59/38.
Nay On the Nomination PN177: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., in the Army, to be General
Feb 8, 2007. Nomination Confirmed 83/14.

Missed Votes

From Feb 1993 to Mar 2018, Feinstein missed 203 of 8,252 roll call votes, which is 2.5%. This is worse than the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Time PeriodVotes EligibleMissed VotesPercentPercentile
1993 Feb-Mar9311.1%67th
1993 Apr-Jun9900.0%0th
1993 Jul-Sep10910.9%50th
1993 Oct-Nov9488.5%78th
1994 Jan-Mar8611.2%33rd
1994 Apr-Jun9211.1%44th
1994 Jul-Sep13610.7%40th
1994 Oct-Dec1516.7%70th
1995 Jan-Mar12500.0%0th
1995 Apr-Jun17121.2%20th
1995 Jul-Sep18421.1%50th
1995 Oct-Dec13310.8%50th
1996 Jan-Mar6000.0%0th
1996 Apr-Jun12210.8%45th
1996 Jul-Sep12100.0%0th
1996 Oct-Oct300.0%0th
1997 Jan-Mar3500.0%0th
1997 Apr-Jun12532.4%88th
1997 Jul-Sep10311.0%59th
1997 Oct-Nov3500.0%0th
1998 Jan-Mar5211.9%35th
1998 Apr-Jun13100.0%0th
1998 Jul-Sep10910.9%41st
1998 Oct-Oct2200.0%0th
1999 Jan-Mar8122.5%68th
1999 Apr-Jun11100.0%0th
1999 Jul-Sep11200.0%0th
1999 Oct-Nov7000.0%0th
2000 Feb-Mar5112.0%79th
2000 Apr-Jun12000.0%0th
2000 Jul-Sep891112.4%95th
2000 Oct-Dec383489.5%95th
2001 Jan-Mar6300.0%0th
2001 Apr-Jun15700.0%0th
2001 Jul-Sep68710.3%78th
2001 Oct-Dec9211.1%48th
2002 Jan-Mar5911.7%43rd
2002 Apr-Jun10700.0%0th
2002 Jul-Sep6100.0%0th
2002 Oct-Nov2600.0%0th
2003 Jan-Mar112119.8%93rd
2003 Apr-Jun15000.0%0th
2003 Jul-Sep10800.0%0th
2003 Oct-Nov8900.0%0th
2004 Jan-Mar6400.0%0th
2004 Apr-Jun8800.0%0th
2004 Jul-Sep4200.0%0th
2004 Oct-Dec2200.0%0th
2005 Jan-Mar8111.2%63rd
2005 Apr-Jun8911.1%50th
2005 Jul-Sep7645.3%90th
2005 Oct-Dec12010.8%42nd
2006 Jan-Mar8300.0%0th
2006 Apr-Jun10700.0%0th
2006 Jul-Sep7345.5%94th
2006 Nov-Dec1600.0%0th
2007 Jan-Mar12600.0%0th
2007 Apr-Jun11221.8%66th
2007 Jul-Sep11943.4%83rd
2007 Oct-Dec85910.6%95th
2008 Jan-Mar8500.0%0th
2008 Apr-Jun7722.6%57th
2008 Jul-Sep4712.1%40th
2008 Oct-Dec600.0%0th
2009 Jan-Mar11810.8%59th
2009 Apr-Jun9600.0%0th
2009 Jul-Sep8911.1%56th
2009 Oct-Dec9400.0%0th
2010 Jan-Mar10800.0%0th
2010 Apr-Jun9600.0%0th
2010 Jul-Sep4400.0%0th
2010 Nov-Dec5100.0%0th
2011 Jan-Mar46613.0%95th
2011 Apr-Jun5823.4%63rd
2011 Jul-Sep4900.0%0th
2011 Oct-Dec8200.0%0th
2012 Jan-Mar6300.0%0th
2012 Apr-Jun10910.9%47th
2012 Jul-Sep2800.0%0th
2012 Nov-Dec5000.0%0th
2013 Jan-Jan100.0%0th
2013 Jan-Mar9200.0%0th
2013 Apr-Jun7611.3%36th
2013 Jul-Sep4300.0%0th
2013 Oct-Dec8000.0%0th
2014 Jan-Mar9300.0%0th
2014 Apr-Jun12310.8%26th
2014 Jul-Sep5400.0%0th
2014 Nov-Dec962829.2%95th
2015 Jan-Mar135107.4%95th
2015 Apr-Jun8500.0%0th
2015 Jul-Sep5200.0%0th
2015 Oct-Dec6700.0%0th
2016 Jan-Mar3800.0%0th
2016 Apr-Jun7933.8%76th
2016 Jul-Sep3400.0%0th
2016 Nov-Dec1200.0%0th
2017 Jan-Mar1012423.8%97th
2017 Apr-Jun5400.0%0th
2017 Jul-Sep5300.0%0th
2017 Oct-Dec11710.9%52nd
2018 Jan-Mar4912.0%58th

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:

Dianne Feinstein is pronounced:

DĪ-an // FĪN-stīn

The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:

LetterSounds As In

Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.

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