Democratic Sen. Leahy’s hip surgery likely to delay action in the Senate

Sen. Patrick Leahy, 82, underwent surgery for his hip on Thursday morning, according to a report by The Washington Examiner.

The senator’s office issued a statement about the procedure:

“This morning, Senator Leahy will undergo surgery to repair a broken hip that he suffered as a result from a fall at his house in McLean, Virginia, Wednesday night.”

The most senior senator in the Senate, a Vermont Democrat who was first elected to the Senate in 1974, suffered the injuries after falling on Wednesday at his McLean, Virginia, residence.

Leahy’s office observed that due to his birth defect, he has long had difficulty with depth perception, which they believe contributed to his fall and the issues with his hip.

“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,” the statement from his office pointed out.

“His doctors determined that the best course of action would be to have surgery to repair his hip as soon as possible. He is expected to make a full recovery and begin a healthy course of physical therapy immediately.”

Background

Leahy made the decision not to run for reelection in 2022 in November 2021. Following Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the presidential succession is Senate Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D-CA).

It’s unknown if Leahy will be missing because the Senate is not expected to convene until mid-July, which would certainly cause legislative activity to be delayed.

Democrats and Republicans have an effective 50-50 majority in the Senate, as there are 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and 2 independents currently in the Senate.

Because Vice President Kamala Harris breaks ties among the members of the upper chamber of Congress, the liberal party has been largely successful in pushing the majority of their measures through on a straight majority vote.

Because of that dynamic, even the absence of one senator from each party can determine whether a bill passes or fails.

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