US Senator Feinstein back home after fall, brief hospitalization

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, 90, was briefly hospitalized following a minor fall in her San Francisco home, her office said on Wednesday, the latest incident involving a key member of the committee that approves federal judges.

“All of her scans were clear and she returned home,” after a short Tuesday night hospitalization, Feinstein’s office said in a statement.

Feinstein, a member of the Democrats’ narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, has suffered from a number of ailments recently, including a bout of shingles that kept her out of action for a month in April and May.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he had spoken with Feinstein on Wednesday morning.

“She said she suffered no injuries and briefly went to the hospital as a precaution,” the top Senate Democrat said.

Feinstein is not the only senior lawmaker to suffer recent health scares. Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, 81, was hospitalized earlier this year for treatment of a concussion after a March fall and last month froze up for about 21 seconds during a regularly scheduled press conference.

Feinstein is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that plays a critical role in confirming presidential appointments of federal judges.

When she returned to the Senate in May, an aide said she was continuing to suffer from a medical complication known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Feinstein had also previously suffered encephalitis.

She has at times shown signs of confusion, at one point telling reporters that she had been present and voting, rather than absent for part of the year.

First elected to the Senate in 1992, Feinstein has said she will not seek re-election in 2024.

Democrats’ 51-seat Senate majority includes three independents. Congress is currently in its summer recess, with most lawmakers in their home states rather than Washington.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton, Rami Ayyub and David Ljunggren; Editing by Susan Heavey and Jonathan Oatis)