Sen. Ben Ray Luján Announces Return to 50/50 Senate After Stroke

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) attends a rally about climate change issues near the U.S. Capitol on September 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Action Campaign held the rally to urge the passage of the 'Build Back Better' legislation.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) over the weekend announced he will return to Washington, DC, in time to vote for President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee after recovering from a January stroke.

“I’m doing well. I’m strong. I’m back on the road to recovery, and I’m going to make a full recovery,” Luján said appearing next to two doctors in a video. “I’m going to walk out of here, I’m going to beat this, and I’m going to be stronger once I come out.”

“Now I’m proud to report, then I’ll be back on the floor of the United States Senate in just a few short weeks to vote on important legislation and to consider a Supreme Court nominee,” he continued.

Luján’s pending return comes as the Democrat-controlled Senate has been without its 50th vote since January. During that time, the Democrats only had 49 Senate votes, short one vote plus Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

Luján’s absence has slightly pushed Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) legislative agenda back, but with Luján’s return, the Democrats should be able to move forward on passing the USICA/America COMPETES legislation baring full Democrat support. Biden’s Supreme Court nominee is scheduled to be nominated at the end of February and confirmed in March.

Luján, 49, was hospitalized in early February at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where he had “decompressive surgery to ease swelling” after losing his balance due to a stroke.

Luján won his Senate seat in 2020 after having served in the House since 2009.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø

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