Headline USA – For Democrats already panicking about a tenuous U.S. Senate majority that was fragile enough to recently force Vice President Kamala Harris into using her tie-breaking vote, a wicked case of shingles has kicked their partisan ado into overdrive.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., announced that she was hospitalized on Thursday and is receiving treatment for shingles. With Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., hospitalized in a limbo state with severe depression, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., sidelined by travels after his mother died, Senate Democrats find themselves without an outright majority.
Feinstein, 89, announced her retirement last month and had already missed a series of Senate votes and committee meetings.
“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles,” Feinstein said in a statement on Thursday. “I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery. I hope to return to the Senate later this month.”
The timing of Feinstein’s absence comes the Senate gears up for what is expected to be a tough confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s nominee for labor secretary, Julie Su.
Su has support from Senate Democrats but her record of overseeing massive COVID fraud during her stint as a top labor official in California might hit bumps with Republicans.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., ranking member of the committee that will shepherd her nomination, called Su’s record “troubling,” Axios reported.
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