A liberal House Democrat on Monday issued an unusually sharp rebuke of his California colleague, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam Republicans caught in California's recall trap F-35 fighter jets may fall behind adversaries, House committee warns MORE, for seeking another term in office.
In a statement to Vox, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said the fourth-term senator is “out of touch with the grassroots of our party on economic policy and foreign policy.”
“The fact that the establishment is rallying around her re-election shows that DC insiders continue to privilege protecting one of their own over the voters' concerns,” Khanna said.
Feinstein, 84, has come under criticism from liberals who say she hasn't done enough to block President Trump’s nominees as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The party’s left wing was also angered when Feinstein declined to endorse a single-payer government-run health-care system, as pushed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Pelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill top line higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war MORE (I-Vt.).
"I am running for reelection to the Senate. Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare. I’m all in!" Feinstein said in a tweet on Monday announcing her plans.
Khanna, a freshman, told Vox he is not considering a run for Feinstein’s seat. But he wouldn’t be a stranger to launching a primary challenge against a longtime Democratic incumbent. He unseated Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) last year to represent a deep blue Silicon Valley-area district.
Honda, who had served in the House since 2001, had been plagued by an ethics investigation of whether he violated House rules by using official resources for reelection campaign purposes.
Khanna now serves as a vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Earlier this year, Khanna said that Sanders should "absolutely" run for president again in 2020.