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Sen. Feinstein discusses gun legislation and her re-election bid during Riverside speech

By in Press Enterprise on October 11, 2017

By Alejandra Molina

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who announced Monday that she is running for re-election, spoke today at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

Feinstein, 84, was first elected to the Senate when she won a special election to replace then Sen. Pete Wilson. She is seeking her fifth full term.

“I really think I’m meant to do it so I threw my hat in the ring,” she said in Riverside on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Feinstein, a Democrat, is California’s senior senator with seats on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees — some of the most powerful panels on Capitol Hill that are investigating Russia’s election meddling.

As the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, she has focused on gun control issues and immigration.

At the start of the luncheon, Feinstein read the names of Inland victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting and asked for a moment of silence. She said she is seeking bipartisan legislation that would make bump stocks, such as those used in the Las Vegas massacre, illegal.

“Nobody needs to take a semi-automatic weapon and make it into a machine gun,” she said Wednesday.

She has been a leading Democratic foe to Republican President Donald Trump and his agenda.

In a statement, she said the Trump era has seen “democracy challenged in unacceptable ways,” from the attempts to roll back national health care for millions of people to attacks on reproductive rights and efforts to slow climate change.

However, her centrist credentials and lack of enthusiasm for universal health care have created friction with her party’s restless left wing. She’s had protesters outside her home, and has been criticized by some for appearing too temperate at times in remarks about Trump’s White House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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