What’s up with the Senate?

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A while ago we asked “Where is Sen. Fetterman?’ We also mentioned that the oldest sitting Senator, Dianne Feinstein D-CA was still recovering from shingles at her home.

From the New York Post:

The absence of US senators — due to unforeseen medical complications or for unexplained reasons — is delaying key votes and legislation, according to a new report…

The absences have thrown confirmation proceedings in the Senate Judiciary Committee into disarray, as controversial First Circuit Court nominee Michael Delaney awaits a vote.

These missing senators have been a problem for months, now. The Senate apparently hasn’t had a full attendance since August of 2022. This puts not just legislation in jeopardy, but nominees for judge seats. The 51-49 Democratic-held Senate has been reduced to a 49-48 Senate thanks to absences by both parties, with that number fluctuating from day to day, causing roadblocks in the upper chamber of Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have no timetable for when they plan to return to the Senate. McConnell, 81, is recovering from a concussion suffered during a fall. Fetterman, 53, is receiving treatment for depression, and Feinstein, 89, is receiving treatment for shingles which required a hospital stay. Feinstein announced she would not be seeking reelection in 2024, opening the door for a battle between California Democrats for the seat she has held since 1992. 

McConnell’s absence has required Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to run the GOP conference with assistance from McConnell’s aides, while Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-PA) staff has had to fulfill constituent requests and work on legislation for Fetterman, per Politico.