Major Illness Rocks U.S. Senate

( – Congress is aging, and there has already been much talk and speculation about the role term limits will play in the United States government. Now, as the Senate is heading into a busy period, there are two notable absences that rocked the chamber, according to The New York Times. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Diane Feinstein have not been to work in over a month.

The two veteran senators have reportedly been recovering from illnesses and injuries. The 81-year-old McConnell suffered a concussion and broken rib from a fall last month. He was at a fundraising dinner event when he tripped and hit his head. He was subsequently hospitalized and recently said that he will return to his office.

Sen. John Fetterman was also absent for many weeks following a bout with depression. Following treatment, Fetterman made a return in his usual shorts and hoodie, telling reporters that it was “great to be back.” His chief of staff alleged that Fetterman has experienced depression sporadically throughout his life and it hit him severely just at the beginning of his term. 

The 89-year-old Feinstein has been recovering in San Francisco from shingles, according to her staff. It is uncertain when she is expected to return, but it is likely her absence will be felt. Due to Fetterman’s absence, along with other Democratic lawmakers, Vice President Kamala Harris was forced to cast a tie-breaking vote on two of President Biden’s judicial nominations. 

When it isn’t illnesses that chip away at the Democrats’ 51-49 majority, it is that some senators are at odds with the rest of the party. Senator Joe Manchin may be preparing to counter Biden’s intention to nominate Julie Su to the labor secretary position to replace the resigned Marty Walsh, according to The Western Journal

Along with Kyrsten Sinema and Jon Tester, the pair are reportedly distancing themselves from the more progressive wing of the party.

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