Two Democrat Senators remain hospitalized, leaving the leftist party with a clear and outright majority in the upper chamber of Congress. Joe Biden has been seeking confirmation of federal judges while a looming nomination for a new Secretary of Labor has been called into question as neither has a clear timetable for return.
Both John Fetterman (D-PA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) are unable to vote as they seek care for mental health and shingles, respectively.
Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed for an apparent battle with depression, something his office said has visited upon him throughout his life. No mention was made of a connection to his serious stroke last year that has left him unable to understand or speak coherently. Fetterman nonetheless beat the Trump-backed Mehmet Oz in last November’s midterm elections.
“Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” his office said in a released statement.
Then there was Diane Feinstein, who was diagnosed with shingles last month and on March 2nd was admitted to a San Francisco hospital for treatment and care.
“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles. I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco,” a statement read. “I hope to return to the Senate later this month.”
Neither has announced when they would be released and able to return to duties. Aside from their stated purposes for visits, both have been afflicted with perhaps more serious and concerning issues. As mentioned, Fetterman suffered a massive stroke whose effects have led many to question just how long he would be able to serve. For her part, Feinstein is 89 years old and ranks as the oldest member of the already-ancient-titled Senate. Various insiders, including colleagues in the Senate, have expressed concerns anonymously that her cognitive condition should basically preclude her from serving.
Feinstein did announce she would not seek re-election when her term is up in 2024.
Last month, the Senate’s longest-tenured woman announced she would not seek re-election. “I am announcing today I will not run for re-election in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said in a statement.
The razor-thin 51-49 Democrat majority has thus been cut to an even 49-49 tie. In more recent judicial confirmation votes, each party has additionally lost one member each; one Democrat traveled home after his mother passed away and one Republican contracted Covid and was thus unable to vote.
In those 48-48 stalemate votes, Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote to give Democrats a 49-48 edge.
Breitbart also reported that Joe Biden will be seeking to find a new Labor Secretary after his last one resigned. It mentioned that the White House has been relatively quiet about the prospects for nomine Julie Su.
White House deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton reportedly refused to comment on whether President Joe Biden’s administration is concerned that some Democrat senators’ absences may derail the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Labor, Julie Su.
Featured image: Shutterstock; Benjamin Dunn, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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