Democrat Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico recently had a stroke and is expected to make a full recovery, but he will be in the hospital, possibly for weeks.
Since the Senate is split 50/50, the Democrats no longer have a majority and Biden’s agenda is going to be on hold.
This has been a harsh reminder for Democrats about the fragility of their majority.
The Associated Press reports:
Sen. Luján to be out at least 4 weeks, Biden agenda at risk
The Democrats’ fragile hold on the Senate majority became vividly apparent Wednesday with the sudden illness of New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Luján, who won’t be back to work for at least four weeks, throwing President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick and lagging legislative agenda in doubt.
The 49-year-old Democrat remained hospitalized after suffering a stroke and is expected to make a full recovery. But Senate colleagues were blindsided by the news — even top-ranking leaders were reportedly unaware that Luján fell ill last Thursday, a stunning oversight. Barring any complications, he is expected to be back at work in four to six weeks, according to a senior aide granted anonymity to discuss the situation.
Without Luján’s presence, the party no longer has full day-to-day control of what has been an evenly split Senate, leaving Biden’s potential Supreme Court nomination, big priorities and even routine business at risk in the face of Republican objections.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who went to the White House later Wednesday to discuss the court nominee with Biden, spoke of the “awful, frightening” situation, but remained hopeful that Luján, one of the chamber’s youngest members, would be “back to his old self” before too long and the Senate would carry on with its business.
This is causing some panic on the left.
Want to know how precarious our Supreme Court appointment is?
One of New Mexico's senators is hospitalized from a stroke.
— Michael J. Stern (@MichaelJStern1) February 2, 2022
Until Senator Luján returns, the Democrats are going to have a hard time getting anything done.