Thursday, December 14, 2006


I just wanted to give folks an update on Sen. Johnson and some insight into the situation.

CNN has just reported the following things:

Upon returning to the Capitol, incoming Majority Leader, Harry Reid, said that Sen. Johnson "looked very good."

Dr. Sanjay Gupta gave some medical insight on his condition. The surgery that Sen. Johnson underwent has two major goals. First is to remove the blood from the hemorrhage that occurred. The second is to remove the tangled mass of veins that caused the hemorrhage. He says that if the surgery is successful, then a recurrence is not likely.

Andrea Mitchell spoke to the Senate Historian. When the new Congress comes into session on January 4, it is up to Republican S.D. Governor, Mike Rounds to determine if Sen. Johnson is fit to serve. If he is able to take his position in the new Congress, there is no precedent for his removal from office. She even referenced another S.D. Senator who took two full years of medical leave.

Given all this information, I feel more confident that the Democrats will maintain the slim majority in the Senate. George Washington Hospital is known as one of the best hospitals in the future. Since Sen. Johnson was not just re-elected, he will not be required to take an oath of office for the new session of Congress. Further, even if he is not able to be in attendance the first day of Congress, the Democrats can reorganize with a 50-49 majority. This is sufficient to take majority status and appoint Committees and Committee Chairs. All indications are that Sen. Johnson can recover from this, thought it may take as many as a few months.

*****UPDATE: I hear that Sen. Elizabeth Dole will not be in the Senate Chamber on January 4, as she finishes her recovery from hip replacement surgery. If that is the case, and I'm waiting to hear back from her office, then the actual vote to reorganize the Senate will be 50-48, still giving the Democrats the authority to claim Majority status.

Rather than seeking a cheap political opportunity, let's hope the Republicans will allow Senator Johnson, his family and his staff the chance to help him throughout his recovery so he cal return to his full duties in the U.S. Senate.


Unknown said...

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