Senator John Barrasso in recovery from surgery

 January 16, 2024

Republican senator John Barrasso (Wy.) will miss work this week to recover from a surgery as Congress continues to debate federal spending and the border.

The third-highest ranking Senate Republican received treatment for an abdominal obstruction at Banner Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming.

Senator out for surgery

The senator said he is "doing well."

“Bobbi and I are grateful to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Banner for their excellent care. I am doing well and was discharged from the hospital this morning. I’ll continue to recover at home in Casper this week. As soon as my doctors clear me for travel, I’ll return to D.C,” Barrasso wrote on Monday.

Congressional leaders are expected to pass another stopgap bill this week to keep the government from shutting down on January 19th and February 2. (A previous stopgap bill set two separate deadlines.)

Another stopgap would give lawmakers until early March to pass 12 standalone spending bills.

The spending fight has divided House Republicans, with conservatives balking at the $1.6 trillion price tag agreed to by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

Meanwhile, Johnson has pledged to reject a border compromise from Republican senator James Lankford (Ok.) that would reportedly allow 5,000 migrants into the country per day.

McConnell successor?

Barrasso was an orthopedic surgeon for 24 years before entering politics. He has been in the Senate since 2007 and chairs the Senate Republican conference.

The 71-year-old has often been floated as a potential successor to 81-year-old Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). who grabbed media attention last year with his own health scares.

McConnell, a longtime Trump enemy, has been quiet after Trump's commanding victory Monday night in the Iowa caucuses. Barrasso applauded Trump by simply tweeting, "47."

Barrasso aligns with Trump

Barrasso became the highest-ranking Senate Republican to endorse Trump for president just days ago, joining every Republican leader in the House.

"America was better off under President Donald Trump's leadership,” Barrasso said in a statement.

"Working with Republicans in Congress, President Trump created the strongest economy of a generation, secured our Southern Border against a lawless drug and crime invasion, and made America an energy dominant superpower."

Trump thanked Barrasso and called him an "extraordinary man."

"To know John is to both like and respect him, a truly extraordinary man," Trump said on Truth Social.

Trump has now been endorsed by roughly half the Republican Senate.

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