John Fetterman Returns To The Senate

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman returned to the Capitol on Monday after a two-month health absence.

“It’s great to be back. Thank you,” Fetterman said while reportedly declining to take questions. Fetterman was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on March 31 after an extended stay during which he was treated for clinical depression. The senator was admitted on Feb. 16 after “experienc[ing] depression off and on throughout his life.”

Fetterman appeared on CBS News on April 2 for his first media appearance since his hospitalization. He told CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley that he had stopped leaving his bed and eating, necessitating the hospitalization. (RELATED: Pennsylvania Governor Throws Cold Water On Calls To Ask Fetterman To Resign)

The first-term senator suffered a stroke on the campaign trail in March 2022, on the eve of the Democratic primary. Fetterman missed several months of campaigning, and his wife Gisele and fellow Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey served as surrogates. Many doctors consider depression to be a common stroke after-effect, although Fetterman and his team have not acknowledged any connection between the two health events.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also returned to the Senate on Monday, more than one month after he suffered a concussion and fractured rib in a fall. He is the longest-serving party leader in chamber history and his team has downplayed rumors that he is considering retirement.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein remains in California where she is recovering from shingles. While Democrats hope to temporarily replace her so that they can advance several judicial nominees, Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has vowed to block a resolution that would reorganize the Senate Judiciary Committee.