(LibertySociety.com) – With a very slim majority in the Senate, absences can impact the plans of the Biden administration. Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., announced on March 2nd, 2023, that she was in the hospital being treated for shingles and expected to be out of commission until later in the month, although she was back home as of March 8. Feinstein, who recently announced her upcoming retirement after her term ends in 2024, is a member of the Judiciary Committee, which has been confirming a record amount of Biden’s judicial appointments for the last two years. Upon the news of her hospitalization, a scheduled meeting of the Judiciary Committee was canceled that was supposed to occur that day.
Senator John Fetterman, D-Pa., remains hospitalized for clinical depression, and a spokesperson for him said on Monday February 27th, 2023, that it would be weeks before he would be able to return to the Senate. No new information was released about Senator Fetterman, but he did co-sponsor a new piece of legislation this week which addresses rail safety, sparking skepticism among members of the medical community. Dr. Marc Siegel, a medical professor at New York University, told Fox News that it is “very unusual that somebody” would be doing their job while being treated in the hospital for depression.
Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was also absent last week due to the death of his mother. According to a March 3 Fox News report, with one Republican Senator also absent, it left the Senate in a tie, requiring Vice President Kamala Harris to be present to break any ties that may arise during that time. According to Fox, President Biden was able to get 100 nominees for lifetime judicial appointments confirmed in the first two years of his presidency. With the return of Republican Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Senator Merkley, the Senate was set to remain at an even split. It’s still unknown when Feinstein and Fetterman will return.
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