Nancy Corrine Prowda, daughter of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been taking care of Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) during her serious illness, the Conservative Brief reported. This has fueled speculation that Pelosi is quietly jockeying for Rep. Adam Schiff to take over her seat.
The 89-year-old Feinstein has been absent from Congress following a serious bout with shingles. However, her return to the public spotlight revealed that she was even worse off than her camp previously indicated.
With her countenance twisted by Ramsay Hunt syndrome facial paralysis, Feinstein was recently wheeled out for the first time since her hospitalization in February. It was later reported that the frail-looking lawmaker had also fought encephalitis, or swelling on the brain.
It's obvious that Feinstein is unwell and could suffer long-term struggles with memory due to her illness. This fact makes it all the more notable that her constant companion is none other than Pelosi's daughter.
From behind Feinstein's wheelchair, perhaps Prowda could discourage any thoughts the ailing senator has of prematurely resigning. If she steps down, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom would get his pick to replace her until the next election cycle.
Newsom has stated he will pick a black woman to replace Feinstein should the opportunity arise. That positions Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee as a likely replacement as she has already announced her intention to run and fits Newsom's intersectional criteria.
Meanwhile, Feinstein not seeking another term, meaning Schiff would be forced to run against Lee in the general election if that's the case. "If DiFi resigns right now, there is an enormous probability that Barbara Lee gets appointed — thus, it makes it harder for Schiff," an informant close to the Pelsoi family warned.
The source further stated that the details of Prowda, Pelosi, and Feinstein's relationship are "being kept under wraps and very, very closely held." It's notable that Pelosi jumped to endorse Schiff after he made it known that he would run for her seat, suggesting she has a motive to keep Feinstein in office.
However, this isn't the first time Feinstein's health has come up as an issue. Questions about her mental acuity were already surfacing, but now Democrats are afraid of what it could mean if she let her Senate seat go with such a razor-thin majority.
They're having a similar problem with Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who was forced to spend time away from his job as he recovered from his own illness, Fox News reported. Fetterman has recently returned but was seriously struggling on the Senate floor.
The combination of these two lawmakers has led another opportunistic Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), to call for changes to how these situations should be dealt with. "Well, obviously California needs a different senator going forward, that’s why I was the first to announce, even before Senator Feinstein had made her decision about whether to run for re-election," Porter said on CNN last week.
"I launched my campaign back in January ‘cause I think this change is overdue." Porter went on to point out that there are many more elderly lawmakers that put the balance of power at risk.
"We’re going to have more people who are absent, we’re going to have more people who fall sick, we are going to have more Senators who age given the age of the body," Porter later continued. "And I think we need some forward-looking policies, not just focus on Senator Feinstein – although I understand the concerns – but really look at how we’re going to deal with this structurally."
Porter is correct that some contingency plan should be in place for these sorts of absences that are destined to be more frequent. However, its disgraceful how members of the party like Pelosi are more concerned with political power than they are about their colleagues' well-being.