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Leahy has second surgery related to hip fracture

Vermont Democrat is a key vote for his party in the evenly divided Senate

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., center, and other Senate Democrats are pictured on the steps of the Capitol on May 3.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., center, and other Senate Democrats are pictured on the steps of the Capitol on May 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., underwent a second surgery Tuesday after fracturing his hip in a fall in late June.

Leahy, 82, underwent hip replacement surgery on June 30 after the fall, and his surgical team decided he needed a second surgery to aid his recovery, according to a statement Tuesday from Leahy’s office.

“Senator Leahy was back in his rehabilitation room by Tuesday evening and is once again working diligently with physical therapists to return home as soon as possible,” the statement said.

Leahy has not returned to the Senate since his fall, but his spokesman has said for the past two weeks that Leahy had been available during that time to vote if needed.

The Senate is expected to vote in early August on a slimmed-down budget reconciliation package containing drug pricing legislation and an extension of expanded subsidies for purchasing health insurance coverage on the exchanges set up under the 2010 health care law.

Any Democratic absence will be missed if all GOP senators are in attendance, as a simple majority is needed to pass the bill in the evenly divided Senate.

Leahy’s absence has not affected the fiscal 2023 appropriations process as negotiations have stalled and Leahy has decided to forgo markups, instead planning on releasing the Senate bills at the end of the month.

The House is set to vote Wednesday on a six-bill package, and House Democrats are pushing to bring at least three more bills to the floor before the start of August recess on July 29.

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