Absences Could Complicate Senate Plans, McConnell Says

Rand Paul, Thad Cochran return timelines questionable

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Posted November 6, 2017 at 11:21am

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Monday the potential extended absence of his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul from the Senate could complicate the Republican agenda.

“Any time a senator on our side is not there, it’s potentially challenging,” McConnell said at an event in Louisville.

The timeline of Paul’s return came into question when initial reports of a minor injury following a weekend altercation with a neighbor evolved into the senator having five cracked ribs.

Reporters also noted the ongoing health challenges of Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, to which McConnell replied, “We need all hands on deck, all the time.”

The 79-year-old Cochran has been in and out since Sept. 18 battling a urological issue.

Another ailing Republican senator is expected back at the Capitol Monday with a walking boot.

Sen. John McCain was treated over the weekend for a minor tear in his Achilles tendon and cancer-treatment side effects, according to a statement released by the Arizona Republican’s office.