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83 Quotes by Dianne Feinstein

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Wikipedia Summary for Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein ( FYNE-styne; born Dianne Emiel Goldman; June 22, 1933) is an American politician who serves as the senior United States Senator from California, a seat she has held since 1992. A member of the Democratic Party, she was mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.

Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University in 1955. In the 1960s, she worked in local government in San Francisco. Feinstein was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk by Dan White drew national attention. Feinstein succeeded Moscone as mayor and became the first woman to serve in that position. During her tenure, she led the renovation of the city's cable car system and oversaw the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Despite a failed recall attempt in 1983, Feinstein was a very popular mayor and was named the most effective mayor in the country by City & State in 1987.

After losing a race for governor in 1990, Feinstein won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. The special election was triggered by the resignation of Pete Wilson, who defeated her in the 1990 gubernatorial election. Despite being first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, Feinstein became California's first female U.S. senator, as she was elected in a special election and sworn in before Boxer. She became California's senior senator in 1993 when Alan Cranston retired and was replaced by Boxer. Feinstein has been reelected five times and in the 2012 election received 7.86 million votes – the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history.

Feinstein authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. She introduced a new assault weapons bill in 2013 that failed to pass. Feinstein is the first woman to have chaired the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the first woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration. She was the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2017 to 2021 and has chaired the International Narcotics Control Caucus since 2021, previously chairing the latter from 2009 to 2015.

At 88, Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. senator. On March 28, 2021, Feinstein became the longest-serving U.S. senator from California, surpassing Hiram Johnson. Upon Barbara Mikulski's retirement in January 2017, Feinstein became the longest-tenured female senator currently serving; should she serve through November 5, 2022, Feinstein will surpass Mikulski's record as the longest-tenured female senator. In January 2021, Feinstein filed the initial Federal Election Commission paperwork needed to seek reelection in 2024, when she will be 91. Feinstein's staff later clarified that this was due to election law technicalities, and did not indicate her intentions in 2024.


Torture goes against the very soul of our country. We are a democracy, established on the rule of law.



If we want our nuclear stockpile to truly serve the interests of our country in a strategic, balanced manner, we have to change course. That means pursuing creative options such as reducing the weapons held in reserve.



Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return.



No child left behind requires states and school districts to ensure that all students are learning and are reaching their highest potential. Special education students should not be left out of these accountability.



Tax reform shouldn't add one penny to our deficit or to the tax bills of middle-class Americans.



Supreme Court justices should not be an extension of the Republican Party.



Information-sharing is elementary to good intelligence work.



Nuclear weapons present us with a paradox: We spend billions of dollars building and maintaining them in the hope that we never have to use them.



Let me be crystal clear: There is no such thing as 'limited use' nuclear weapons, and for a Pentagon advisory board to promote their development is absolutely unacceptable.



Designing new low-yield nuclear weapons for limited strikes dangerously lowers the threshold for their use.



People who travel should be on guard. All our military, our police and I think the word has been spread. And people know to be careful to watch, to report. Something that looks suspicious to you, don't be embarrassed to go to an authority and say, Look, I saw this and it seems suspicious to me.



Simply put, Guantanamo is one of the best propaganda tools that terrorists have today. Our enemies use it to justify terrorism and recruit others to carry out violent jihad, and our allies continue to criticize it as a violation of the rule of law.



The National Guard fulfills the militia mentioned in the Second amendment. Citizens no longer need to protect the states or themselves.



America is still the land of opportunity, and hard work is still a pathway to success.



There's no reason to think a Guantanamo detainee is any more likely to escape from Supermax than any other federal prisoner.



I think that some restriction on speech is appropriate.



My mother emigrated from Russia as a young child. She couldn't speak English and had no education. Her father died at age 32, leaving the family destitute. An uncle, who worked as a carpenter, supported the family.



And in an issue with this kind of concern to a committee that bears the oversight responsibility, I think you can see that we're very dismayed about it .



An inflated balloon -- impressive to look at but hollow at the core and easily punctured.



If I could have banned them all...I would have!



College costs continue to rise, and student loan debt threatens to price many Americans out of a college education and out of the middle class.



Student loan debt is certainly not a fitting topic for a commencement speech, but it's an issue we must confront -- not only for thousands of college graduates who deserve a fair shot, but also for our economy.



Theft of a firearm should be punished as a felony, plain and simple.





A woman does not have to make decisions based on the need to survive. She can cut through issues, call shots as she sees them....Many bad decisions are made by men in government because it is good for them personally to make bad public decisions.



On gay ban in the military: Heroism, I believe, is a trait that does not know race, color, creed, sex, or sexual orientation.



Assault weapons pose a grave threat to all Americans, but most especially to law enforcement officers on our city streets.





We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet it's legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.



Historically, the court has been the forum to which individuals can turn when they believed their constitutional rights were violated. This has been especially noteworthy in the arena of civil rights.



We need steel spines, not weak knees when it comes to political independence in the Department of Justice.



Abortion, however, is a big threshold issue for me because the dominant majority of people in my state are pro-choice. I ran as a pro-choice Democrat, and she fills Sandra Day O'Connor's shoes, and they are critical shoes.



I'm one that believes that Samuel Alito appointment on the Supreme Court is a pivotal appointment. And because he replace Sandra Day O'Connor and because she was the fifth vote on 148 cases, you well could be a very key and decisive vote.



I am not a high-tech techie, but I have been told that is not possible.



Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States.



Domestic violence does not only happen to adults. Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend, and approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and sexually abused by a dating partner.



There is no more direct or honest person than Jim Clapper.



We cannot expect to keep our nation's secrets secure -- or provide meaningful oversight for our intelligence agencies -- if proper classification of our country's secrets is as likely as a coin flip.



It is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully informed as to what is actually being carried out by the intelligence community.





We're not perfect, and there are some dark patches in our past, but what makes us special is that we recognize these evils, we come to grips with them, and we fix them.



At age 14, my paternal grandfather fled Poland to escape the pogroms that killed tens of thousands of European Jews. He worked full-time for a cobbler in Boston, making his way to California and eventually starting his own business in Taft -- the Goldman Oil Supply Company.





Our system of checks and balances requires policymakers to have accurate information about government actions.



The sole purpose of nuclear weapons must be to deter their use by others.



I've passed on a number of bills. I've studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated.



Congressional overseers and the public must be given appropriate insight into government activities as well as their legal rationale to ensure America's values are being upheld and our interests advanced.





As a former nine-year member of the Board of Supervisors and nine-year mayor, I know firsthand the merits of strong zoning laws. They protect residential areas so they can support families and be free of commercial activities that are not related to neighborhood needs.



With the right person in place, a very distressing chapter in the Justice Department's history can be closed and the process of restoring its credibility as a strong and independent department can begin.



In addition to being a terrorist recruiting tool, Guantanamo is a huge drain on taxpayer dollars.



I think the greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone, and the use of the drone and the very few regulations that are on it today.





Gentlemen, as sure as I'm sitting here now, the result of continuation of a non-system, the ostrich-like head-in-the-sand attitude, the constant rejection of any efforts to solve this problem, will produce an Armageddon in the American population in those states where there is a big problem.



If the president Donald Trump thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he's in for a rude awakening.



What we're going to see is the emergence of the lone wolf rather than the planning of large numbers of people to carry out large attacks...Explosives are getting more sophisticated.



While the distance between the United States and Iraq is great, Saddam Hussein's ability to use his chemical and biological weapons against us is not constrained by geography -- it can be accomplished in a number of different ways -- which is what makes this threat so real and persuasive.



If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them... 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,' I would have done it.



You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play it better than anyone else.



It is my belief that tax credits only go to people who are making money, and they generally keep it.



Well, that day is gone, and it will not occur again.



America is big enough to admit when it's wrong and confident enough to learn from its mistakes.



We have a chance to wind down and expedite the removal of 96 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. What an achievement it would be, if at the end of the next administration, we could say that the nuclear arsenals of both Russia and the United States had been reduced to the barest minimums.





Yes, I support the death penalty. It is an issue that cannot be fudged or hedged.



The time has come to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It is the right thing to do. Every American should have the opportunity to serve their country, regardless of race, sex, creed, or sexual orientation.



Ports are the gaping hole in America's homeland security.





It is my hope that the number of stem cell lines available for federally-funded research will be expanded so that the government can continue to participate in this vital research and provide hope to the millions of Americans with diseases that might be cured.



Rogue internet pharmacies continue to pose a serious threat to the health and safety of Americans. Simply put, a few unethical physicians and pharmacists have become drug suppliers to a nation.



For the life of me, I don't understand what honest motive there is in putting this in front of this body to philosophically debate marriage on a constitutional amendment that is not going to happen, and which is enormously divisive in all of our communities.



Women have begun to see that if I go through that doorway, I take everybody through it.



I basically believe the medical insurance industry should be nonprofit, not profit-making. There is no way a health reform plan will work when it is implemented by an industry that seeks to return money to shareholders instead of using that money to provide health care.



Winning may not be everything, but losing has little to recommend it.



Toughness doesn't have to come in a pinstripe suit.



Instead of starting a new nuclear arms race, now is the time to reclaim our Nation's position of leadership on nuclear nonproliferation efforts.



Survival is nothing more than recovery.



Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.





The criteria for serving one's country should be competence, courage and willingness to serve. When we deny people the chance to serve because of their sexual orientation, we deprive them of their rights of citizenship, and we deprive our armed forces the service of willing and capable Americans.



'No Child Left Behind' requires states and school districts to ensure that all students are learning and are reaching their highest potential. Special education students should not be left out of these accountability mechanisms.



Global warming is real. It is happening today. It is being charted by our satellites. It is being charted by our scientists. It is being charted by those of us in this body, and I think the real key is if we are ready to admit that fact and take the action to make the necessary conversion.



Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.


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