Politics

Patrick Leahy set to return to the Senate next week

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, speaks at a press conference in Burlington in February. The senator was discharged Friday from the physical rehabilitation facility where he has stayed since fracturing his hip in late June. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. was discharged Friday from the physical rehabilitation facility where he has stayed for several weeks following a fall in late June, according to his Senate office. He is now home with his wife, Marcelle Leahy, in McLean, Virginia. 

The development should make it easier for Leahy to take part in what are expected to be close votes next week on major legislation intended to fight climate change and reduce the federal deficit. 

On June 30, Leahy underwent emergency hip replacement surgery after falling at his home and fracturing his hip the night before. On July 20, he underwent an additional minor procedure. Since his admission to the rehabilitation facility, Leahy has taken part in twice-daily physical therapy sessions to aid his recovery, his office said. 

The Leahys and the senator’s medical team “are pleased with the progress that he has made after two surgeries related to his hip replacement,” his office said in a statement Friday afternoon.

After being discharged Friday, Leahy stopped by the Capitol to sign the CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion bill that would fund the domestic chip manufacturing industry and is expected to benefit the GlobalFoundries plant in Essex Junction. As Senate president pro tempore, Leahy’s signature was required for the bill to be sent to President Biden. 

Leahy missed Wednesday’s vote on that legislation, but his office had previously told VTDigger he would be able to attend votes when necessary even as he remained in the rehab facility. Given the 50-50 split in the Senate — with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes — Democrats cannot spare any votes on party-line issues. 

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Jenna Peterson

About Jenna

Jenna Peterson is a student at the University of Southern California, where she is majoring in journalism and political science. She is news editor at the Daily Trojan at USC and was an editor of the Burlington High School student newspaper when it received a special New England Newspaper & Press Association award for successfully fighting a censorship effort by school administrators.

Email: [email protected]

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