California senator, Dianne Feinstein, known for being a vocal advocate of gun control measures – has died aged 90.
The Democratic senator, who spent three decades in the Senate trying to find common ground with Republicans, was the chamber’s oldest member and had faced requests to leave due to health concerns.
Feinstein was also the longest-serving female senator, elected in 1992.
Reacting to her death on Friday, September 29, President Joe Biden hailed Feinstein as a “passionate defender of civil liberties” after she announced her retirement, describing her as a “strong voice for national security policies that keep us safe while honouring our values.”
Biden said: “I’ve served with more U.S. Senators than just about anyone.
“I can honestly say that Dianne Feinstein is one of the very best.”
Feinstein’s spokesperson stated in March that she was dealing with a “health matter” after missing votes at the end of February.
On Thursday, hours before her death, she gave her final vote in the first of three Senate votes.
Feinstein advocated for the assault weapons ban, which was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton in 1994.
After the ban lapsed a decade later, she advocated for more stringent rules.
Feinstein also served as chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where she oversaw evaluations of the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and torture program.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: [Feinstein] blazed trails for women in politics and found a life’s calling in public service.
“I’ll miss her greatly as a friend and colleague and send my condolences to all who loved her.”