House Republicans cause 'travel mess' for members attending Feinstein memorial, officials say

ByStephanie Sierra KGO logo
Thursday, October 5, 2023
House GOP causes 'travel mess' for those attending Feinstein memorial
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry caused a 'travel mess' for members attending Dianne Feinstein's memorial, officials say.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Thirty U.S. Senators and a large portion of the House delegation are traveling from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco on Wednesday to attend the memorial service honoring the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

But local representatives say House Republicans have complicated their travel plans.

RELATED: Hundreds from Bay Area pay respects to Sen. Dianne Feinstein at SF City Hall

The public paid its respects to the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein at San Francisco City Hall Wednesday where her body was lying in state.

"It's just going to be more difficult," said Rep. Mike Thompson.

Thompson explained the House Republican leadership did not allow a plane to transport the late Senator's colleagues from DC to SFO. After the late Senator passed, Rep. Zo Lofgren contacted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to request air transportation for colleagues to attend the memorial service.

This is a courtesy any delegation is traditionally afforded to allow members to travel together to honor a member who passed away. But, Rep. Lofgren, who's the delegation representative, never heard back from McCarthy. According to Thompson, she made the same request of Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry but also didn't get a response.

"It's just sad commentary on the House Republican leadership where they wouldn't allow a plane to come back so her colleagues can pay tribute to this great legislator, great Senator remarkable leader," Thompson said. "I'm assuming some people will not be able to make it because of that."

WATCH THURSDAY: Sen. Dianne Feinstein's memorial to be held outside San Francisco City Hall

The plane transporting Vice President Kamala Harris had limited seating left but did help accommodate the transportation of some of the Senate delegation, staffers told ABC7.

ABC7 has also learned one of two planes transporting members of the Senate delegation is delayed due to maintenance issues. Staffers say it's unclear if those issues will be fixed and it may result in further restricted travel.

Congressional staffers have confirmed the City Hall memorial service is no longer open to the public, due to heightened security. The service is set to begin Thursday at 1 p.m. at the front steps of San Francisco City Hall. Rep. Thompson will join Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Zo Lofgren, among others during Thursday's service.

The current order of speakers will be San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a recorded message from President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Eileen Mariano, Feinstein's granddaughter.

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