McConnell to Return to Senate after Nearly Six-Week Absence

April 17, 2023

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is set to return to Capitol Hill on Monday after nearly six weeks of recuperation from a head injury.

McConnell, age 81, was hospitalized after suffering a fall on March 8 while dining at a DC restaurant. He was diagnosed with concussion and a fractured rib, but was discharged on March 14, after which his office said he would undergo a “period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home.”

He was released from rehab on March 25.

“I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday,” McConnell tweeted on Thursday. “We’ve got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people.”

This past Friday McConnell visited his office for the first time since his fall, and he’s expected to be working on a full schedule in the Senate this week. 

McConnell returns ahead of a busy period on Capitol Hill, as Democrats and Republicans must seek a way to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in order to avoid default, likely some time this summer.

In January McConnell insisted, “America must never default on its debt. It never has, and it never will.”

However, he has also stated, “In this current situation, the debt ceiling fix…will have to come out of the House” where Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been at odds with President Biden.

McConnell’s absence, along with that of Democratic Sens. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Dianne Feinstein of California, have slowed the pace of work in the upper chamber of Congress.

Fetterman, age 53, is also set to return to the Senate this week after being treated for depression. Feinstein, however, remains on extended leave after suffering a bout of shingles. The 89-year-old has requested to be “temporarily” replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee amid calls from some Democrats for her to retire. 

The fall was McConnell’s second major injury in recent years. He tripped and fell in his home in Kentucky in August 2019, fracturing his shoulder. The Senate had just started a summer recess at the time; he worked from home for several weeks while he recovered from that injury. 

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