Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the oldest serving member of the Senate at age 90, appeared confused Thursday during a routine Senate committee proceeding, where she began reading from her prepared remarks instead of saying “aye” during a roll call vote.
As the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee was taking roll ahead of a vote on the defense appropriations bill, Feinstein appeared to freeze up when it came her turn to say “aye,” as all members of the subcommittee do in order to have their votes recorded.
“Just say, ‘Aye,'” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) told Feinstein.
“Pardon me,” Feinstein responded.
“Aye,” Murray reiterated.
Instead of registering her vote, Feinstein launched into remarks in favor of the bill. “I would like to support a ‘yes’ vote on this. It provides $823 billion — that’s an increase of $26 billion for the Department of Defense, and it funds priorities submitted—”
Feinstein was cut off by a staff member who appeared to tell the senator that the committee was still in the process of calling roll.
“Just say, ‘Aye,'” Murray told Feinstein once more.
“Okay, just…” Feinstein said as she appeared to remain confused. Laughing, she then appeared to realize her mistake and said, “Aye.”
On March 2, Feinstein revealed that she had been hospitalized with shingles in San Francisco, but said she hoped to return to the Senate later that month. After being absent from the chamber for almost three months following the diagnosis, Feinstein returned to work at the Capitol on May 11.