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Sen. Katie Britt home after hospitalization for facial numbness

Alabama Republican expects to be back when Senate returns from recess

Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., is recovering at home after being hospitalized briefly.
Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., is recovering at home after being hospitalized briefly. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Katie Britt is recovering at home after being briefly hospitalized with facial numbness likely caused by a post-viral infection, she said in a statement Monday night.

Britt, a first-term Alabama Republican, said the condition is not life-threatening and that she is receiving outpatient treatment. Recovery could take several weeks, she said.

“While with my family in Montgomery this past weekend, I experienced a sudden onset of numbness in my face,” Britt said in the statement. “I was admitted to Baptist Medical Center South for evaluation. Doctors determined that my symptoms were a result of swelling of a facial nerve, most likely caused by a post-viral infection.”

Britt, 41, is the first woman to be elected to the Senate in Alabama and the youngest Republican woman ever to serve in the Senate. Before becoming a candidate, she was a press aide and then chief of staff for Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby, whose seat she filled after he retired. Britt was president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama before announcing her candidacy for Senate in 2021.

On Monday before announcing her illness, Britt released a statement slamming President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse a plan ordered by then-President Donald Trump to move the headquarters of the new U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.

“The President’s blatant prioritization of partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization, and force readiness is a disservice and a dishonor to his oath of office as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief,” Britt said in the statement earlier Monday.

The Senate is in recess through early September. When it returns, it will have to iron out differences with the House on several key measures, including spending bills to fund the government past Sept. 30, the National Defense Authorization Act and reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., also said the Senate would continue working to bring rail safety and marijuana banking measures to the floor and tackle a series of nominations for spots on the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve, among others. 

A spokesperson for Britt said Tuesday that she “looks forward to being at the first vote post-recess.”

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