U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein took the stage at the at the state Democratic Party convention today to rally the base with a stinging rebuke of Republicans in the U.S. House.
"In the five months since Republicans have taken control of the House they have tried to systematically disassemble the American dream," she said.
Feinstein praised fellow Democrats and President Barack Obama for standing up to GOP demands to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, but called the budget proposal for next year introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the "next act in the assault on women, seniors and working people"
She cast the fundamental challenge of the country the conservative Tea Party movement's "singular mission to cut government so it cannot serve our people."
"In reality, the Tea Party has no plans for job creation and economic recovery. What they have is a radical, ideological agenda to dismantle the social and economic safety net of our country," she said.
Feinstein called for a stronger, more comprehensive national policy on nuclear power, saying being vigilant about safety and establishing a protocol for storing nuclear waste over the long term are top priorities.
"There are great lessons to be learned from Japan and we have some problems and some issues that need to be sorted out," she said.
She also applauded the repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell military policy and pledged to fight to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. But she warned that a victory for the gay-rights community is "not going to happen tomorrow or next month."
"We must right this wrong and it is going to be another long march," she said.
The 77-year-old Democrat called on delegates to come together to re-elect Obama and win the House and Senate in 2012, but was notably mum on her own re-election bid.
A serious GOP challenger has yet to emerge but the four-term senator, who won her last re-election bid by with nearly 60 percent of the vote, reported having more than $4.3 million cash on hand as of her late March federal campaign filing.
She declined questions on her impending campaign after the speech except to say it is her plan is to run again in 2012.