Top Democrat’s Stroke May Impact Democrat Majority In Senate

( The Democrats’ extremely fragile majority in the Senate, which they only have thanks to the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, is on the line as Democratic Senator Ben Ray Lujan recovers from a stroke.

The 49-year-old Democrat legislator was hospitalized in Albuquerque after underdoing decompressive surgery to ease swelling in his brain after his recent stroke. Having survived it, Lujan is expected to return to work in four to six weeks time, assuming he doesn’t have any further medical complications.

It highlights just how fragile the Democrats’ majority is. As it stands, Democrats can only pass legislation so long as they have the vote of every single Democrat as well as Vice President Harris, but even then the legislation is restricted to budgetary measures. Most other legislation must be passed with the support of 60 members of Congress.

Democratic Senator for Delaware Chris Coons spoke about his colleague’s health problems, acknowledging that it is a reminder of how the 50-50 divide in the Senate can change at any time.

“It’s just a reminder that in a 50-50 Senate any unexpected development could be a challenge to our moving forward on an agenda that the Democratic caucus shares,” he said.

It comes as so-called “conservative” Republican Senator Mitt Romney – who often votes with the Democrats these days – remains in quarantine for a week after contracting COVID-19. Democratic Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota is also in quarantine after contracting the virus.

At this rate, and with the lack of support for various legislative measures from moderate Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, the Democrats won’t be able to pass any new legislation through the rest of the year. And by then, they could have lost control of Congress in the midterm elections.