Clinton Ally Struggles to Name a Single Senate Accomplishment

March 31, 2016

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) struggled to name a single accomplishment from Hillary Clinton’s nearly decade-long tenure in the Senate when prompted by reporters.

Feinstein, who endorsed Clinton’s 2016 presidential run, worked alongside the former secretary of state in Congress for eight years. When pressed to name a "signature accomplishment" from Clinton’s time as senator, Feinstein drew a blank.

"Golly, I forget what bills she’s been part of or authored," Feinstein told The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week.

Feinstein met with The Chronicle’s editorial board Tuesday to outline her latest California water plan and told reporters the question about her longtime ally caught her off guard. She later directed an aide to "get on Google" so she could keep a list of Clinton’s senate successes.

"I didn’t really come prepared to discuss this," she said. "But she’s been a good senator. There are things outside of bills that you can do, and I know that she’s done them for her state."

Clinton worked in the Senate from 2001 to 2009, representing New York before leaving to serve as secretary of state under President Obama.

Feinstein, who was elected in 1992, said that Clinton did not work in the Senate long enough "to achieve the degree of seniority that affords her the ability to do more." The California lawmaker did argue that Clinton helped New York City secure $20 billion to rebuild after the 9/11 terror attacks.

During her eight years in Congress, three bills that Clinton sponsored became law. The statutes were noncontroversial and established a historic site, a post office, and highway in New York. Clinton also cosponsored 74 bills that ultimately became law.

Feinstein meanwhile authored and passed the 1994 assault weapons ban within the first two years of her time in the Senate, The Chronicle noted.