We’ve discussed recently how Sen. John Fetterman is out for the count. He is in the hospital for an unknown amount of time. While gone, he is unable to vote on any legislation that hits the Senate floor.
Unlike the House under former Speaker Pelosi’s rule, the Senate never allowed proxy voting. A senator has to physically be in the room. Any absence can make or break a bill and a president’s agenda. Now, Biden’s just got some more bad news. Yet another Democrat has been admitted to the hospital. And this brings his agenda to a standstill.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced that she was hospitalized on Thursday and is receiving treatment for shingles, leaving Senate Democrats without an outright majority this week as two other senators are also away from the Capitol.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has been hospitalized since mid-February, with no expected return date, as he is receiving treatment for “clinical depression.”
Further, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) flew to his home state after his mother died earlier in the week.
Because so many Democrats are out, they currently do not have a majority in the Senate. One Republican is out sick, leaving the final tally 48-48. Democrats are essentially powerless without a majority since members like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema often defy their plans.
While this complicates things like passing bills, it also means Biden might not get some of his judicial nominees appointed. If there is at least one Democrat opposed to a candidate, they aren’t getting through.
This is a reminder of how precariously the situation in Congress currently is. The fate of our nations rests on just one or two votes. Biden can either ram his socialist agenda through, non-stop, or be frozen in his tracks.
All is on the line for the upcoming election, when many Senate seats are up for grabs. Republicans will have to work overtime to not only secure a majority, but a large enough majority to ensure they can pass bills with more than just a few votes.
- Democrats lost their Senate majority after several members are admitted to the hospital.
- A drop in votes means critical issues, like judicial appointments, might be derailed.
- Fetterman is out for weeks; now, Sen. Feinstein is being treated with shingles.