Powerful Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will spend some time in a rehab facility after a fall last week sent him to the hospital with a concussion and minor rib fracture.
McConnell, 81, fell during a private dinner for donors to the super PAC he funded, the Senate Leadership Fund, and was taken to the hospital.
He was released from the hospital on Monday, but won't yet return to the Senate due to rehab needed for the rib fracture, which doctors only recently discovered.
“Leader McConnell’s concussion recovery is proceeding well and the Leader was discharged from the hospital today,” McConnell’s communications director, David Popp, said Monday in a statement. “Over the course of treatment this weekend, the Leader’s medical team discovered that he also suffered a minor rib fracture on Wednesday, for which he is also being treated.”
“At the advice of his physician, the next step will be a period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home,” Popp said.
McConnell is one of three senators currently absent from the Senate for medical reasons. On the Democrat side, Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) are also away from the session for clinical depression and shingles, respectively.
The absences leave the Senate at 49-48, with Democrats still holding on to a majority.
Despite his advanced age and a previous fall in 2019, McConnell was easily re-elected leader of his party in the Senate, easily overcoming a challenge by conservatives there.
Much of his power comes from the super PAC, which contributed $290 million to Senate races during the midterm elections.
McConnell is an establishment Republican with moderate views, and he has clashed with former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, since Trump began to assert that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent in November 2022.
The antipathy between McConnell and Trump deepened after purported Trump supporters illegally breached the Capitol building on January 6 and McConnell blamed Trump for it.
McConnell, already the longest-serving Senate leader and the longest-serving senator from Kentucky, is not up for re-election until 2026, when he will be 84. He has given no indication that he plans to retire.
The average age in the Senate is now 65.
Democrats hold the majority 51-49 when all members are present, but with several members in their 80s, a shift could happen at any time due to unexpected hospitalization, a lengthy illness, or even death of a member.