Top U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that he will return to the Senate next week, more than a month after he was sidelined by a bad fall and as talks over the nation’s looming $31.4 trillion debt ceiling shift to a higher gear.
The 81-year-old Kentucky Republican, who is the longest-serving Senate party leader in history, tripped at a Washington dinner on March 8 and was admitted to a hospital for treatment of a concussion. He also suffered a minor rib fracture and was later moved to a rehabilitation facility.
“I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday. We’ve got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people,” McConnell said on Twitter.
McConnell was one of three lawmakers sidelined in the Senate, which Democrats control by a narrow 51-49 majority.
A more prolonged absence could have posed a problem for Congress, at a time when lawmakers must act to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever U.S. default that could cripple the U.S. and world economies.
With Republicans who control the House of Representatives in a political standoff with President Joe Biden, McConnell is seen as a veteran power broker capable of forging a comprise to avoid crisis.
Democratic Senator John Fetterman, who was hospitalized for depression earlier this year while recuperating from a stroke, is also due to be back to work on Monday.
Democratic Senator Feinstein, 89, is recuperating from a bout of shingles amid calls for her resignation from fellow Democrats. On Wednesday, Feinstein said her return to the Senate was delayed and that she would temporarily step down from the Senate Judiciary Committee.