Posted by on June 30, 2022 10:25 am
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Democratic Sen. Leahy has hip surgery, likely delaying action in 50-50 Senate

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., flanked by, from left, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., questions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his time in the White House, during the second day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democratic Sen. Leahy has hip surgery, likely delaying action in 50-50 Senate

Juliegrace Brufke June 30, 10:11 AMJune 30, 10:11 AM Video Embed

Sen. Patrick Leahy, 82, broke his hip and underwent surgery on Thursday morning, his office announced in a statement.

The Vermont Democrat, first elected to the Senate in 1974 and the chamber’s most senior lawmaker, incurred the injury in a fall Wednesday at his McLean, Virginia, home.

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Leahy’s office noted that he has long struggled with depth perception after being born visually impaired.

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“Having been born blind in one eye, the senator has had a lifelong struggle with reduced depth perception. He has taken some remarkable dingers over the years but this one finally caught up with him,” Leahy’s office said. “He is expected to make a full recovery and begin a healthy course of physical therapy immediately.”

Leahy announced in November 2021 that he will not seek reelection in 2022. Leahy, the Senate pro tempore, is third in line of presidential succession, behind Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The Senate is not scheduled to be in session until mid-July, so it’s unclear if Leahy will be absent, likely delaying legislative work. The Senate is divided between Democrats and Republicans 50-50, with Harris casting tiebreaking votes. So, even the absence of a single senator on either side can make a difference between the passage or failure of legislative proposals.

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