McConnell back after fall as Senate resumes
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has returned to the Senate following a period of recovery in the wake of a fall.
McConnell arrived on Capitol Hill Monday morning and did not answer questions from CNN about how he is feeling after spending the last several weeks recovering after a fall where he suffered a concussion and fractured rib. CNN spotted McConnell in the Capitol exclusively.
McConnell was at the Capitol on Friday, but Monday marks the GOP Senate leader’s first day back in session. The House and Senate are both returning to session today following a two-week recess period.
McConnell also did not answer a question about how he will handle the issue of how Democrats want to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Judiciary committee. Feinstein’s absence as she recovers from shingles is making it more difficult for Democrats to process judicial nominees on the panel, setting up a potential clash with Republicans as they seek to replace her.
McConnell was hospitalized last month after he tripped and fell at a dinner event in Washington, DC. He was treated for a concussion and a rib fracture before being released to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for physical therapy.
At the time, a McConnell aide told CNN, “it is very common to undergo physical therapy to regain strength after a hospital stay.”
McConnell, who is 81 years old, left the physical therapy facility on March 25. In a statement, the Senate GOP leader said that, following advice from his physical therapists, he would, “spend the next few days working for Kentuckians and the Republican Conference from home.”
McConnell added that he remained “in frequent touch with my Senate colleagues and my staff. I look forward to returning in person to the Senate soon.”
Earlier this year, McConnell became the longest-serving party leader in Senate history.
During his absence, Senate Republicans who spoke with the McConnell said he was itching to get back to the chamber. The No. 2 Senate Republican, Minority Whip John Thune, noted that he was “anxious” to return, and Texas Senator John Cornyn told reporters that McConnell was “chomping at the bit” to come back to the Capitol.
This was not McConnell’s first fall. Several years ago, he fractured his shoulder in a fall at his home in Kentucky.
The top Republican is not the only senator returning from an extended absence.
Across the aisle, Democrat Senator John Fetterman will return to the Senate after receiving inpatient treatment for clinical depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Fetterman was discharged from the hospital at the end of last month.
Feinstein has been absent from the Senate after being treated in the hospital, and then at home, for shingles. It is not yet clear exactly when she may return.